Selected works by Farsad Labbauf

Farsad Labbauf
Joseph (Gaze)


Oil on canvas

142.3 x 112 cm

Farsad Labbauf’s paintings are immediately recognizable from his highly idiosyncratic style. Influenced by traditional Persian arts such as calligraphy, tapestry, and the poetry of Rumi, Labbauf’s contemporary portraits convey a metaphysical approach to painting where line, colour and texture are used less to ’depict’ an image than to describe its essence. In Jospeh (Gaze), his realistic portrait of a man immediately breaks down as an illusion as hundreds of delicately applied brush strokes and carefully delineated tonal patterns transform the image into abstraction. Describing his work as "an attempt for the union of the internal", Labbauf’s paintings offer a meditative quality. Through their fragmented appearance, Labbauf’s images transcend fixed time or place, conceiving this unresolved state as a more accurate or truthful representation of reality.



These works are done in configuration with my linear style of figurative painting.
The formation of this method of pictorial depiction is an evolution from my belief that in order to truthfully describe any content, a painting must exist in a state of flux, as all events, objects, scenes, people, thoughts and ideas are constantly changing. To describe and depict something that was, is or will be carries the heavy and imposing predicament of time. And so in describing the world, I have found it necessary to create images that exist halfway between completion and dissolution.

Another main and motivating factor in creating and developing the use of lines in my paintings was the unveiling of a desire for manifestation of unity. Following an urge against segmentation of the painting surface into isolated geographies of color and content, I set out to create a method of pictorial depiction which conveys this idea of unity regardless of content. Even though at first glance the subjects in my work seem isolated from their surroundings, upon closer inspection it is revealed that all areas of each painting are connected together by the underlying solid color of the background. The segmentation of both color and content is at once rejected by this shared geography. A playful attempt at monism, these works are an exploration of figurative painting with lines.
Inspired in part by Persian calligraphy, these works echo the influence of my cultural heritage. In creating and developing this linear style of painting some of my continual inspirations have been weaving patterns of carpets, tile works and different kinds of puzzles. In these tapestries of color, lies the Persian-ness of my work; depicted in the manner each work is created, beyond the immediacy and particularity of content. Even though the sources of most of my subjects are external, my work is often an attempt for the union of the internal.

Source: Farsad Labbauf