Amin Roshan | Fire of Love | Rossi & Rossi, London

From Crude Oil to Canvas: Turning Iran's Black Gold into Art

March 17, 2020 - Tim Cornwell

Oil paints have been an artist’s staple since the Renaissance, and in tubes of paint for nearly 200 years - using mostly linseed oil, from the flax plant. But for Iranian artist Amin Roshan, crude oil would ultimately be his tool of choice.

Roshan was born in 1982 near the first oil well drilled in the Middle East, in the Khuzestan Province of southwestern Iran. Though his family have worked in the oil industry for generations, including his grandfather, father, uncle, cousin and brother, Roshan broke with that tradition to become an artist.  

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Fire of Love by Amin Roshan

March 5, 2020 - Nour Saleh

How do the words oil and art connect?


When we think of oil in reference to the art world, we may tend to think of large corporations sponsoring costly exhibitions, and art institutions, for the sake of being able to showcase art, glossing over the notion of nature being disrupted to find its black gold. Due to oil being a controversial resource, it does not for many, make for good company with art. This last year, activists dressed up as ancient Greek warriors displayed a large Trojan horse within the grounds of the British Museum to protest the sponsorship deal with BP. Furthermore, at the National Gallery, protestors from Extinction Rebellion appeared semi-naked immersed in fake oil in objection to the Portrait Award being linked to the oil company. 

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Fire of Love

February 11, 2020 - Rayan Elena Vergara Meersohn

Rossi & Rossi and Janet Rady Fine Art are delighted to announce: Fire of Love, Amin Roshan’s first solo exhibition in London.

It is not easy to say why I have chosen oil as a theme…The main reason may be its excessive impact and influence not only on my life and family but also on the geography of Iran - Amin Roshan

Amin Roshan is an Iranian multi-disciplinary artist whose output is deeply informed by his Bahktiari tribal heritage and his family’s involvement for many generations in the country’s oil industry. Roshan was born in the Naftoon district of Masjid-i-Sulamain in the Khuzestan Province of southwestern Iran, where the first oil well in the Middle East was discovered. His formative years were shaped by the physical presence of oil in and around the streets where he grew up. The family re-located to Ahwaz, a city in the South West of Iran near the border with Iraq, when Amin was a child. Here he later trained in graphic design and so broke the family tradition of employment in the oil industry.

More here.