Naked Songs: Rasa Vesali at 400

Rasa Vesali is a Budapest based artist who has been living here for the past three years after leaving her home city of Tehran.  Although a talented draftswoman who graduated from the Islamic Azad University in Tehran with a degree in Visual Art, Rasa spent last year studying art here in Budapest at the Magyar Képzőművészeti Egyetem.

While much was familiar for her, for the first time in her academic career Rasa was presented with female nudes in her life studies class.  While most students immediately followed their master’s instructions, digesting and objectifying the form, focusing on proportions, skeletal form, shadows, and negative space, Rasa explained that she heard music, feeling an inner connection to the naked woman posed in front of her.  The revealed form of this naked model struck a personal chord.  The curves of the woman were her curves.  The exposed nakedness was her nakedness as a woman in a strange culture without the familiar trappings of her homeland.  Rasa was overwhelmed by the lyrical quality of the model’s curves.  She felt an immediate connection that was personal as well as deeply cultural.  She heard music and this music echoed the verse of countless ancient Persian poets.  She saw neither femurs nor negative spaces, she saw direct parallels between the model’s curves and the beautiful structure of her own written language.  Within these curves lived the words for love, loss, longing, self doubt, and empowerment.

Much of Rasa’s previous work has been in many ways allegorical, however while this series The Line Song contains a few clear messages, it is meant to be expressionist in nature.  The works are meant to work without any knowledge or comprehension of the written text.  Although Rasa herself denies any hidden meaning and explains that her works are merely decorative in nature, the 20th century female Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad stated,

I don’t search for anything in my poems; rather in my own poems I discover myself.

In Rasa’s drawings of nude women adorned, wrapped, and even restricted by verse from an ancient culture which is indecipherable to the untrained western eye, we find works which reveal while at the same time remain shrouded in mystery.  However, one thing is certain, deep within the souls of the works, you will find the artist herself.

Rasa Vesali The Line Song 2012 December 27 – 2013 January 27 at 400

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