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Meteorite Narvalo | Chiusi, Tuscany, Italy | Bizhan Bassiri©

The meteorite of an unknown origin is intuition. The vital hours that foreshadow vision last a lifetime.
Extract from the Manifesto of magmatic thought.

Meteorite Narvalo | Chiusi, Tuscany, Italy | Bizhan Bassiri©


VITAL HOURS #BizhanBassiri


For this 36th issue, CULTURAMA continues its investigations off the beaten track, immersing itself in a poetic universe.

For more information on an article, click on the corresponding images
Meteorite Narvalo | Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna, Venise | Bizhan Bassiri©

Bizhan Bassiri

The sculptor's magmatic thought was born from an excursion to Vesuvius in 1978 (see CULTURAMA N°28) and has been going on ever since, irrigating both his work and his life.

IL NOTTAMBULO | National Museum of Iran | Bizhan Bassiri©

Eric of Culturama: In your Manifesto, you talk about intuition and what precedes the artistic vision. What do "the vital hours" mean to you?

Bizhan Bassiri: The vital hours represent our predisposition, a mental state that makes us ready to accept what happens. If we turn away from it or if we live superficially, and the causes of distraction are numerous, then we don’t perceive the things that arise. The difficulty is to maintain one's ability to see what is happening.

Disco Solare | Steel | Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy | Bizhan Bassiri©

Eric: What are your current works or projects?

Bizhan: Recently, I’ve started a new project: IL NOTTAMBULO. In my career, this work represents a singular passage for several reasons.

First, it starts with a drawing, the first in a series produced almost forty years ago, which represents a particular figure — The Night Prince. I had completely buried it in my memory but when I rediscovered it after all these years, its very strong presence emerged in my creative process.

Mount Vesuvius | Gulf of Naples, Campania, Italy | Cylonphoto©

Secondly, the original old paper canvas was 100 cm by 70 cm. I repainted the same character in the form of a diptych, consisting of two paintings measuring 3m50 by 1m80, with two mirrored silhouettes, like reflections.

Bronze colossus | Chiusi, Tuscany, Italy | Bizhan Bassiri©
Finally, I created the exhibition at the Tehran museum* with spirits in mind. At night, there is nobody except night owls. The museum looks like a haunted castle where they wander. I will continue exploring this path with the texture of the paint while maintaining the silhouette of the original drawing. Every night owls will be unique and will constitute a series of classic paintings.
*IL NOTTAMBULO was exhibited at the Iranian National Museum in October 2019
The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus | At the foot of Mount Vesuvius, Pompeii, Italy | Bruev©

I also have projects in progress concerning meteorites. Right now, I'm passionate about a massive sculpture, made of volcanic stone, which has a twisted shape. When this meteorite rises to the sky, it rotates and tapers more and more until it becomes a platinum needle, to the point of practically disappearing. The work then turns into a point where matter ends and where the sky begins, which for me, represents an interior passage and symbolizes the relationship between body and mind. The meteorite comes from the cosmos, it spins, then returns to where it came from. It is a process identical to that of intuition, of which the meteorite is the envelope.

Meteorite Narvalo | Artist's studio | Chiusi, Tuscany, Italy | Bizhan Bassiri©

Eric: The full interview and a documentary extend this exchange with the artist Bizhan Bassiri. If you want to know more about it and support us, contact us by

Meteorite Narvalo | Artist's studio | Chiusi, Tuscany, Italy | Bizhan Bassiri©

Man is a rope stretched between the beast and the Superhuman — a rope over the abyss.
Thus spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche.


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