Salar Ahmadian | Ritim ve Renk
08.03.2019 - 28.03.2019
Calligraphy has a long history of ten thousand years. The first calligraphers are the people who, within the framework of a certain system, wrote their reservoir of knowledge and experience on clay tablets, iron plaques, brass and gold shields, silver scrolls and papyrus in Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, ancient Japan and the region around the Indus River. Their style known as the Rebus method is the representation of a word by a picture of an object, the name of which resembles the represented word in sound. This ancient art of writing was used for such a variety of purposes as counting agricultural and manufactured goods, social relationships, the recording of social sanctions, the measuring of time and the verification of the legitimacy of a certain dynasty. Astronomical observations, horoscopes, the victories and defeats of rulers were recorded on tablets in cuneiform and hieroglyphics. The enigmatic Phaistos disc, which has not been deciphered up to the present day, is not only a good example of the calligraphic art in circa 2000BC but also a symbol of the magic attributed to the art of calligraphy. The written sources of the Persian civilization such as the Behistun inscription, and the written tablets discovered in Susa and Persepolis are unique examples of Persian calligraphy. The mural paintings, drawings, written tablets found in Anatolia, dated as belonging to the Persian era, are artworks created by Lydian and Ionian calligraphy masters for Persian aristocrats.
After thousands of years, Salar Ahmadian, an artist of Persian origin, who inherited this rich heritage from his ancestors, creates original and exquisite works of art thanks to the artistic potential in his genes. Ionian style face profiles and mortal portraits wearing the Persian headdress tiara, which we come across in the marble reliefs in ancient Daskyleion, a Persian town in Anatolia, transform into Salar Ahmadian’s faces in the first quarter of the 3rd Millennium and hail us as the calligraphic portraits of the modern woman. The long-standing tradition also involves the writings in ancient Greek, Phrygian, Lydian, Aramaic, Luwian, Elamite and Persian on clay tablets, brass sheets, copper columns, leather and papyrus in circa 500 BC. It is through these writings that people had the opportunity to learn about the culture and lives of past civilizations. Even letters which were used for communication purposes in those days are regarded as rare examples of calligraphic art. Craters decorated in the black-figure technique imported from ancient Greece, the works of Lydos, the Attic vase painter, and those of Leagros, Liefless, Haimon, Lindos Groups, the pottery works of Beldam painter, Niobid painter, Emporio painter and the works of Mina painter, ,Meidias painter and Bulas Group, which merge calligraphy and figurative descriptions, are all a part of the same tradition. Salar Ahmadian, who bears this entire rich heritage in his genes, is the creator of unique works on canvas which reflect the aesthetic language of our day. He is the golden link in the traditional calligraphic chain, the heritage from his ancestors.
When we categorize Ahmadian’s works as portraits and abstract descriptions, we are confronted with an exceptional talent who creates both figurative and abstract works, using the brush like a dreamer. All his painting compositions convey not only hints of the soil where his talent flourished but also the abstract language derived from the historical heritage. We must remember that the tradition of abstract painting started in the East and the abstract style which is sought after by Western artists is drawn from the Eastern spirit. Ahmadian works on the canvas like a fanciful mathematician and a rhythm master. Not only is he a contemporary interpreter of calligraphy but he is also the present-day performer and re-constructor of the calligraphic tradition.
All the Persian art works and tablet inscriptions produced in Asia Minor show a great variety in style and iconography. Ahmadian’s works are reminiscent of painted potteries as well as the geometric designs in the glasswork tradition in the Orientalist period in Asia Minor: the constantly moving ribbons, the intertwining knots, the swift movements and the twists and turns on his canvas usher in an exquisite aesthetic language. His abstract compositions are dominated by a rhythm that merges swift movements with stationary motifs. This kind of variety can be seen in all his works.
While his compositions are characterized by all the possibilities that abstract language offers, the portraits look as if they have come to his canvas after a long journey of thousands of years. These portraits are the faces of resurrected mortal women who have been incorporated into contemporary culture. In his portraits that emphasize the modern aspect of the twentieth century woman the artist does not use figurative elements. Portraying female beings who are revered in Persian culture is a tradition. The combination of realism with imagination seen in Salar Ahmadian’s works recalls antique Persian art, which merges realistic elements with paradoxes.
The artist who is against the stationary quality and superficiality of Islamic calligraphy uses the speed element to achieve a different dimension in his works and by experimenting with depth and dimension on canvas he adheres to the tradition while revolting against it at the same time. In a sense, he proceeds by tearing down traditions. This is what we call originality. The art of portrait painting has a long history. During the Roman era in ancient Egypt (300 BC- 100 BC) the Fayum portraits were used in burial rituals with the aim of handing over the deceased person to eternity. These are masks attached to mummies. In portrait art, the depiction of human beings on wooden boards in their naturalistic and lifelike appearance and viewed from the front carries the impact of Apelles’s style, the Greek painter who lived in 3rd century BC. Tempera and encaustic painting (an ancient technique in which metal panels with hot pigmented wax are inserted into the mummies of the deceased) were used in Fayum mummy portraits, which portray people on their deathbeds.
In the Italy of the Middle Ages where the Renaissance flourished, the portrait tradition reaches its zenith with Leonardo and Raphael around whom High Renaissance revolved. The portraits by Leonardo and Raphael painted in the 16th century as well as those painted by Caravaggio influenced Northern Europe and brought about the Northern Renaissance. In the 17Th century, Rembrandt, Frans Halls and Vermeer , the three Dutch painters, were the master portrait painters of the North. In the period covering the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century, Vanmour and Liotard, who were commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan to portray life in the Ottoman Empire; in the 19th century Alexej Von Jawlensky: and in the 20th century Picasso and Bacon in their modern style and Andy Warhol, the leading figure in pop-art, are all outstanding figures who excelled in interpreting the human face. In the Ottoman Empire the tradition of portrait painting started during the reign of Mehmet, the Conqueror. The talented artists of Europe who settled in the Ottoman palace produced quite a number of portraits. Ahmadian, who, with his authentic style, is linked to this long-standing tradition of portrait painting produced in antique, classical, modern and contemporary styles throughout history, values female beings, just like his Persian ancestors,. The artist covers the female faces he creates with calligraphic writing instead of veils without deforming the natural dimensions of the human face. We witness an imaginary social transformation here. Calligraphy covers the faces.
In his abstract works, the artist, in order to create a composite space on canvas, brings to the fore the vibrational core of geometry. In his portraits, however, he criticizes social/religious taboos. Women whose faces are covered with calligraphic attacks are transformed into dynamic subjects on the canvas. The essence that exists in the artist’s soul and intuitive mind has no beginning or end and transcends time in terms of intuitive perception. These works are a holistic - imaginary response against global ventures, similarization policies and discrimination against ethnic values.
An aesthetic image is a claim, a demand. It has the desire to put an immediate end to what is happening now. An image embodies multiplicity of meaning. The subject of Salar Ahmadian’s aesthetic image is an infinite move. And he is a genetic bearer.