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Going Global

by mana on May 15th, 2012

Ali Banisadr, "Interrogation," 2010, oil on linen, 48" x 60"

Ali Banisadr, "Interrogation," 2010, oil on linen, 48" x 60"

When I was in New York, I saw an exhibition of Contemporary Iranian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a friend who is an art historian. I was struck by Ali Banisadr’s painting “Interrogation. “

Though the painting is abstract, I had no doubt that it was about war. Using myriad fine details, the swirling movements and colors evoke powerful feelings. As I looked at it, among the silvery shapeless shapes, I saw the clash of armies of armor-clad horsemen and heard the cries of humans. Even the smoky sky felt like a war zone. It is the genius of the painter that the viewer’s imagination becomes an inseparable part of the work. It suggests a million dialogues and relationships, all in a war-torn world.

Banisadr grew up in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. This experience has become part of his personal history that he strives to communicate with his art. The war, which lasted from 1980 to 1988, was the longest conventional war of the 20th century. This painting connects people to the emotional impact of a brutal conflict that is relatively unknown in the West.

When we look at art from different cultures, we gain insight into the experiences of those societies. Exported into a larger world, these works become universal in their meaning and part of our global heritage. In California, like nowhere else, the effects of this emerging global connection can be seen. People from every corner of the world come here in order to be themselves and to become who they want to be. Operating in a mix of many cultures, they create and are changed, transmitting their new identities to their place of origin. This acts as a catalyst for a globally integrated society.

The increased pool of shared knowledge, along with technological advances in manufacturing, has set the stage for what economists call the Third Industrial Revolution. Innovative tailor-made products are created without large capital expenditures. The resulting highly dynamic economy challenges the status quo represented by government regulations. The equilibrium between disruptive technologies and the laws governing the countries in which they are launched will need to balance the desire of individuals for freedom against the interests of the dominant players. This new global order will require a fresh understanding from those who seek to succeed in it.

Jeremy Sutton, "Yurong," 2011, mixed media on canvas,  24" x 30"

Jeremy Sutton, "Yurong," 2011, mixed media on canvas, 24" x 30"

Going global is the theme of a panel discussion that I am organizing in California on behalf of the prestigious business school INSEAD and the first law school in France, Panthéon-Assas. This might be the first event in the Bay Area that closely ties art, politics, law and business together. A distinguished group with broad international experience will examine the issues of operating in a global world from many perspectives. To enliven the evening, Jeremy Sutton’s artwork from the Cirque du Soleil series will be on display. The beautiful Veranda room at the Hotel Sofitel will house a degustation of the Heritance wines of Bernard Portet, the founder of Clos du Val winery in Napa Valley.

From the Exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

From the Exhibition The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier

The ideas that disrupt the status quo against the established culture are essential to making humanity go forward. I thought about that while looking at the installation of Jean Paul Gaultier at the de Young museum in San Francisco. Gaultier’s creations are not just about fashion but about humanity. He questions stereotypes and provokes to create a more tolerant and open society while applying his technical virtuosity to create visual delight. This exhibit is about an open world, where sensitivity and technology go hand in hand. He wants to be himself and to be accepted as himself. He has a message of tolerance, and he touches us deeply when delivering it.

From the Interrogation of Banisadr and Gaultier’s fashion creations, to individuals making innovative discoveries, the concepts challenging existing laws help the world advance.
To join us for the panel discussion on May 31, please register here:

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