Ali Alemzande Ansari: Mathematical Prison

Ali Alemzande Ansari

Artwork’s Title: Mathematical Prison

Materials Used: Oil on canvas

Studio Based: Tehran, Iran

Ali Alemzande Ansari, Mathematical Prison, 2021, oli on canvas, 100 x 150 cm

Can you tell us about the process of making your work?

First of all I imagine a pure geometric composition that may take me a few days to examine it with varieties of possible proportions and choose the best one. I also examine the composition with varieties of objects such as fruits, skins, random shapes and other things in Photoshop to find suitable objects to put in it. Then I turn it into a simplified geometric design and I transfer to canvas. Then I paint on it and finally I display the primary geometric structure by pasting plastic tape measures on the canvas.

How would you define your work in a few words (ideally in 3 words)?

Geometric, precise, objective.

Could you share with us some insights on your artwork named ‘Mathematical Prison’, (2021)? Is there any particular story or meaning behind this artwork?

I got the idea from school math books which use fruits such as apples in their illustrations to make multiplication and division imaginable for kids. So I painted fifty four apples that are divided in six rows, each one consisting of four apples which represents six times four.

Your imagery seems distinctive for its keenness on mathematic tables and other algebraic systems. In these painterly compositions, vegetables, fruits and other vague humanoid figures mix up together constructing a delicious and polychromatic contrast within an abstract geometric framework. If that applies to your artistry, do you have any particular themes or narratives that you aim to reproduce or represent on your canvases?

During the past year I’ve been obsessed with the idea of how the geometrical and mathematical perspective of computers shapes our vision nowadays. In my recent works I pursue a geometrical aesthetic that is intended to absorb and organize everything by decontextualizing them and freeing them of their functions.

Could we describe your recent works as alternative forms of contemporary still life?

I’ve always had a passion for still life painting. Two years ago I created a series of paintings, plastic jugs with an intention to break the presumptions of traditional still life painting in my practice. My recent works are a continuation of that series so yes we can say it somehow!

Could you tell us whether there is any fruit or vegetable that feels more inspiring or meaningful to you? Cucumbers or aubergines maybe?

None of them is more meaningful than others to me. They are just objects, like objectified human skins and like random shapes which I use to arrange a composition.

Do specific artworks have been created by random experiments in your studio or do you always come up with a particular concept or narrative in the very beginning?

I usually don’t create artworks by random experiments. But sometimes I get new ideas from random experiments.

Do you ever wonder if additional work was needed, when an artwork’s making process is finished?

It very rarely happens.

Is there any particular theme that utterly triggers you to engage your art with?


Can you mention any artists you, lately or generally, take inspiration from?

I love Pit Monderian artworks and his artistry has been inspiring for me. I am also inspired by Iranian artist Bahman Mohasses, especially his still life paintings with their plain backgrounds and metaphysical theme. Moreover I’m lately studying Ashley Bickerton’s unique and magnificent artworks.

What about the place where you work? What’s your studio space look like?

My studio is a twenty square meters space which is actually a part of my house. As it’s a small space everything is foldable and in each stage of work I change the arrangement of furniture and equipment to make it suitable for work. For instance when I want to paint I fold my desk and chairs and put them aside to free some space to install my easel and other painting equipment and vice versa when I want to study compositions and make sketches.

Which are your plans for the near future?

I’m going to focus on my recent paintings in order to find new potential and also creating a body of works for a solo show in Tehran.

Additional Paintings

Ali Alemzande Ansari, Oranges And Cucumbers, 2021, Plastic tape measure and oil on canvas, 100 x 150 cm
Ali Alemzande Ansari, Four Apples, A Cucumber And Human Skin, 2021, Plastic tape measure and oli on canvas, 100 x 150 cm
Ali Alemzande Ansari, A Random Line, Two Eggplants And A Kiwi On A Random Shape, 2021, Plastic tape measure, oil and gesso on canvas, 100 x 150 cm
Ali Alemzande Ansari, Two Apples, Two Cucumbers, An Orange And A Pythagorean Triangle, 2021, Plastic tape measure, oil and gesso on canvas, 100 x 150 cm
Ali Alemzande Ansari, A Four-Dimensional Tomato Star, A Cucumber, A Human Head Skin and A Random Shape , 2021, oil on canvas, 100 x 150 cm


All images courtesy of the artist

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