Creating Figurative Works some where between Jenny Saville and Lucian Freud, Rizvan Rahman has been building up an impressive body of paintings and this week sees the launch of his first solo exhibition.
The exhibition, Point of Departure, firmly puts behind him his conviction for dealing forged art works by post-war modern artists In October 2011. Rahman served a short prison sentence and since his release in 2012, Rahman has devoted his energies to creating a strong and impressive body of fleshy figurative painting.
Rahman’s interest in art is primarily focused on the work of the great Masters. Artists such as Rembrandt, Velasquez and Van Dyck have had a profound influence upon his own work and his practice can be seen as a continuation of the long tradition of human representation that exists within Western European art.
The exhibition may be viewed as a study of anatomy and flesh, featuring 22 large-scale female nudes and portraits, many of which are larger than life size. It is in these paintings that Rahman has been able to demonstrate his aptitude for direct observation and scrutiny of his subject matter.
Working with unsparing honesty and relentless analysis of his subject, Rahman has produced paintings that are both deeply absorbing and powerful. These striking paintings are a remarkable new find and one that will undoubtedly enrich the vast canon of European figurative painting.
Speaking about the exhibition, Rahman said: “This body of work has arrived through my obsession with painting. Even during my time in prison, it was the only thing I could think about – returning to my family and getting back in the studio to paint. Four years worth of work are being exhibited for the first time and I must now let the work stand up and speak for itself.”
Rizvan Rahman was born in 1970 in the city of Karachi, Pakistan on the fringe of the Arabian Sea. His father was an accomplished golfer and moved his young family across the globe as he accepted different contracts as a resident club professional. Rahman achieved a BA Honours degree in Fine Art from De Montfort University near to his home town of Leicester. He is married to a primary school teacher and they have three young children. After leaving school, Rahman knew he would not follow his father’s path of fairways and greens but instead he immersed himself in his passion for art. He soon discovered that he had a full appreciation for painting in all its different guises but with a profound veneration for the Old Masters, with a particular interest in the work of Rembrandt, Valasquez, Van Dyke and Rubens. Whilst busy earning a living painting commissions for various clients, Rahman had been able to set aside a small amount of time to pursue his own practice, a body of figurative work of outstanding merit which now deserves rightful attention. It is in these paintings that he has been able to acquit his accomplished aptitude for direct observation and scrutiny of his subject matter. One may find the stark veracity of his nudes disconcerting at first glance, yet they are imbued with a humanity and tenderness that is often rare to find within the genre of portraiture and study of the human form. Working with unsparing honesty and relentless analysis of his subject, Rahman has been able to produce paintings that are both, deeply absorbing and powerful. These astonishing paintings are a remarkable new find and one that will undoubtedly enrich the vast canon of european figurative painting. It is an unusual path that Rahman has taken to get here but it is truly to our benefit that his work will now gain wider recognition.
Point of Departure runs from 4th February – 17thFebruary 2016 at 18 Hertford Street, Mayfair, London.