The Life and Passionate Works of Iranian-American Artist Davood Roostaei

 Davood Roostaei to Art & Object on his Cryptorealism technique
Born in the small Iranian town of Sarab in 1959, Roostaei studied at Tehran’s Academy of Fine Arts in the late 1970s amid the turmoil that culminated in the Islamic Revolution.He resisted the new government through graffiti art, which landed him in jail for two years.

Roostaei sought asylum in Germany, where he adopted the neo-expressionist “die neue Wilde” style. He went on to ditch brushes, painting just with his fingers and creating what he dubbed Cryptorealism – a synthesis of abstract art and realism. Among the collectors of his works are Paul McCartney, Hillary Clinton and Anthony Hopkins. Many of Roostaei’s paintings have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, and his works have been exhibited at museums and galleries across the globe.

Always in touch with current events, he responded to the Russian invasion of Ukraine with the painting “Imagine 2022” to raise $1 million for Ukrainian relief efforts.

The dynamic, visionary artist also donated a portion of the proceeds from his work to a range of other international causes. 

Roostaei’s life was cut short last year at the age of 63, after a brief battle with cancer.