The concept behind Bijan Ghalehpardaz’s unique carved acrylic paintings was first sparked when he had his son laying down colour on panels for him and they discussed the idea of sandblasting the paint. The acrylic paint was tougher than you might think and the sandblasting was a failed experiment, as were his attempts to carve into the dry paint. Bijan made a break through when he began using Dremel rotary tools and this discovery, approximately six months prior to his exhibition at Westland Gallery, ignited a fascinating new series of work.
The process of creating one of these pieces takes several months. Bijan begins by applying the highest quality artist acrylics to achieve thick layers on his panel. This requires 45 -70 layers per piece, and 2-5 months to achieve. The paint must be allowed to dry completely, or else the Dremel work will result in a chewed up surface, instead of crisp, clean cuts through the layers.
Then the fun begins! Bijan often works en plein air, preparing for 3 or 4 hour sittings by setting up his portable generator and putting on his protective gear – earplugs, safety goggles, ear plugs, dust mask and all! When cutting into the paint, small chips can fly up to 20 ft.
Bijan has created a wonderful opportunity to pair his expert knowledge of colour and composition with a new, invigorating process. Bijan enjoys the interplay of chance and control, of cautious precision and the unpredictability of his results. As he carves, Bijan discovers colours among the many layers that inspire him to try to reach those exact moments elsewhere in the canvas.
Speaking with him, one begins to take on the immense excitement he feels for these truly unique paintings. This body of work is “near and dear to my heart”, the artist says. He is inspired by the experience of discovering a new artistic voice, and a method all his own. We are thrilled to share in his adventure and present his work at Westland Gallery in “1+1=ONE”, on now through September 12th 2015.
We look forward to welcoming you at Westland Gallery soon.
- Danielle Hoevenaars, Associate Director
Westland Gallery, based in London ON, exhibits the work of established and emerging Canadian artists.