The practice of Iranian painter Ramtin Zad can be deconstructed into three words: dreams, discovery and experience.

The sensorial experience of a Zad work is dominated by its fleshy, richly hued and debaucherous qualities where his thick, painterly strokes allow the works to leap from their two-dimensional realities into a seemingly three-dimensional plane. Depictions of flora and fauna are intermingled with anthropomorphic forms, who are wrapped up in each other themselves, as Zad plays with perspective to create intricate and masochistically claustrophobic compositions that reveal a new detail each time the eye encircles the canvas. His ‘more is more’ mentality may appear a visual cacophony, but there is poetry to the madness. 

From pop culture to Iranian heritage, the plethora of visual references that pepper Zad’s paintings come directly from his reliance upon his unconscious and action/automatic painting process. He approaches a canvas the way one enters the mist – engaging instinct, or his ‘lizard brain’, to navigate the complex network of thoughts and dissonant sounds that run through his head that are tempered only by his complete willingness to be spontaneous. “First I concentrate, then comes anger and finally, the discovery phase,” he explains of how he tackles his works. The resulting phantasmagoric imagery, simultaneously imbued with and devoid of narrative, can be read as whimsical dreams, recalling elements of Georg Baselitz, or unsettling nightmares, harking back to Francisco Goya’s darkened panels – it merely depends to which schema Zad’s paintings speak. 

Zad’s personalised artistic universe possesses a freshness and cheek that emphasizes his ability to merge heritage with contemporary elements, and skill in testing the limits of Boschian influences while maintaining enough restraint to let the viewer finish the picture. Drawing inspiration from deep within his unconscious and organizing it with his own visual language, the aesthetic tension the viewer is confronted with leaves them with one simple choice: how to end a story which hasn’t yet begun?   

Ramtin Zad's solo exhibition presents the unified collections of Ramtin Zad works from the Salsali Private Museum (SPM) and renowned collector Farhad Bakhtiar as part of SPM’s initiative to be a collector’s collective. 


About the Artist

Ramtin Zad, born in 1984, is an iranian artist. He graduated in Graphic Design yet went on to continue a career in Fine Arts. Based in Tehran, the wild and aggressive features of the urban city can be reinterpreted in his signature bold brushstrokes and explosion of colours, simultaneously possessing a typical Iranian figurative style. A contemporary storyteller he uses mythical and other fictional characters and elements to transport the viewer into his imaginary world, retelling the story of the perpetual battles and everyday struggles of man, which continue on to this day from the past.

His obsession with the concept of timelessness can be observed in his recurring themes of resurrection, Life and death. He is constantly motivated by nature naming it his number one source of inspiration. A self acknowledged figurative artist, Ramtin generally works as a painter and sculptor. With numerous solo and group exhibitions around the globe, he aspires to become one of the most influential artists of the region. Exhibiting both nationally and internationally in private collections and art galleries in Tehran,Basel, Dubai, Kuwait,New York, and London. Also in international art fairs such as Art Biennale of Beijing, and Art Dubai.