This painting from Ali Shayesteh’s recent series, Body-Builders, is titled ‘The Saint’. The ironical paradox inherent in this painting gives it a charm imbued with a critical view on the idols of youths. The same penance and asceticism of Iranian Sufism aiming at purification of mind and body, here becomes a physical labour longing for a stony appeal. The ordinary man lacks both of these. Ultimately, what makes a characteristic sacred, is a distance, a desire and longing that wishes to cry out loud to be heard. The visual language of the painter, inspired from Far Eastern illustrations and painting  painted with perishing and nostalgic colours is able to leave an impression on his spectators not reducible to a sheer ridicule. The negative space protruding in his paintings helps the figures to show off, and the artist is successful in characterization. These are interesting paintings that you might have missed in the dull days at the end of this year.