Rayan Yasmineh freely appropriates the codes of art history, consciously fluctuating between the perpetuation of tradition and the breach of conventions. In his portraits he combines Middle Eastern culture, mythologies and iconography with contemporary Western identities. His paintings bring together a profusion of ornamental details and shimmering colors with a masterful construction of lines and planes.
His understanding of painting is that the physicality of the work and the processes that led to it, are as important as the subject ma!er. This conceptual approach is influenced by French avant-garde movement Support/Surfaces who re-imagined the place of art in society and formally deconstructed and examined the material components of painting. Yasmineh also refers to Maurice Denis stating that a painting was essentially a flat surface covered with colors arranged in a certain way. His practice revives the tradition of the exuberant gardens of Persian miniature, characterized by the abundance of elements, the association of a precise drawing and pure colors. But he also sees these miniatures as a representation of the real that’s aware of being a representation, thus circumventing Islamic aniconism.
Rayan Yasmineh finds in ancient myths the common ground for many civilizations, and a way to connect them. He’s interested in the way they relate to conflict and how they can condition our perception of reality in the present. By introducing anachronistic, contemporary and everyday life references among the profusion of ornamental details of Oriental heritage, or by using oil paint in the manner of the Flemish old masters, he intertwines techniques and representations of supposedly opposite worlds. Yasmineh mixes elements that come from his everyday reality —which anchor the viewer to the factual aspect of the painting— with pictorial accents that addresses the myth. “The expression of this double iconography in my work is the manifestation of a plural identity, Arab and European, which breaks with the supposed adversity of the concepts of East and West.”
Rayan Yasmineh graduated with the congratulations of the jury from the Beaux-Arts de Paris and the Villa Arson in Nice. His work has been shown in group exhibitions at the Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris (2022), the Beaux-Arts de Paris (2022), and Poush Manifesto, Paris (2021). He has been awarded the Lefranc Bourgeois Prize, the Carré sur Seine Prize and the Hatvany Collective Prize. In 2021 he received, alongside Nils Vandevenne, the call for projects from the Ministry of Culture for a public commission as part of the Camus project.