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Artist of the Day | Kour Pour

Kour Pour

Triple Samurai (Yoshitoshi), 2018

Block printing ink on canvas, edition Unique 58 1/2 x 48 inches


Kour Pour is a British-Iranian artist known for large-scale paintings inspired by Persian tapestry. He graduated from Otis College of Art and Design in 2010 and is currently based in Los Angeles.

Created through a laborious process, Pour's meticulously detailed carpet paintings often take months to complete. For each work, the artist researches the image of a particular rug from exhibition and auction catalogues. He then silkscreens the image onto a canvas that has been primed with multiple layers of gesso. By using a broomstick to apply the gesso, the warp and weft of woven rugs are recreated. Pour then hand-paints the details of each composition with acrylics in much more vibrant hues. After months of this preparatory work, he erases parts of the image with a circular sander and subsequently repaints these obliterated areas to produce the finished piece.

In the carpet painting series, image and motifs associated with the human history of cultural exchange are sourced from the internet and re-contextualised on canvas. In Thank you, Enjoy! (2017), the composition is imbued with visual elements alluding to the history of Chinese foreign trade; these elements include Chinese porcelain, dragons, Buddha, Empress Dowager Cixi, scholar's rocks, qilin, a portrait of Mao, skeletons, cattle and Silk Road nomads. Devoid of predesigned narrative, the work seeks to transport the viewer to a flattened time and space where past, present and future coexist.

Since 2016, Pour has begun a new body of works inspired by Japonisme—the influence of Japanese art and aesthetics on Western culture. These new paintings—composed of big blocks of colour and a mix of both geometric and more amorphous forms—represent his continuous exploration of cross-cultural connections and displacement.

Pour was featured on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list in 2015 and 2017. In 2015, his solo exhibition entitled Samsara was presented at Depart Foundation in Los Angeles.

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