2010-11-05 to 2010-11-18
Ali Chitsaz is a funny man. Our first reaction to his work is to laugh, which is all right. Sometimes he is satisfied with a cheap smile but often manages to escape from falling into the realm of caricature. His previous works depicted battlefields and hunting grounds; full of amputated hands and heads and galloping riders. We got there late and never understood why the heck the crowd were at each others’ throats. Or what the hell the story was about – As if we had found a few pages torn from a comic book. In his battle scenes often some peculiar person has paused for a moment and is gazing at us like a goat; As if we are caught witnessing a massacre we were never meant to see. In his recent work, the weather has improved; spears have turned into carrots and daggers into turnips. Recently the master is a little more tender-hearted. On his canvases he is showing us a few dreams and memories or an excerpt from a book or a newspaper. This time instead of The battle of Mamasani, we end up on the side of swimming pools, football-fields, roses and robins. A street goes through the football field and the goal is a swimming pool. He draws a cigarette on the canvas. Or packs of cigarettes, in the size of buildings. A friend is arrested through the lens of a webcam and instead of giving the rifle to the “Statue of Stupidity”, he gives a bowl of stew to the lady with a blue scarf. He puts the half Qajar half Ottoman sultan bare feet on a motorbike, he hands him a Picasso for the steering, then he tells him to do a wheelie. In his new work Chitsaz has announced a ceasefire. Before he wages a new war and burns the bull alive, we better have a dip in the water and plant some vegetables in our garden.