"In a philosophical sense, Davood Roostaei remains a realist for he endeavours to make the sublime reality and omnipresence of God recognisable in his works". -

Dr. Peter Schutt

Dr. Peter Schütt was born in 1939 in Basbeck on the River Elbe. He studied German and history in Göttingen, Bonn and Hamburg, and wrote his doctorate dissertation on the Baroque poet Andreas Gryphius. His literary works cover almost all forms of literature. He has published nine books of poems, has written several plays which have been performed in renowned German theatres, and above all he has made a name for himself with his literary travelogues on Vietnam, Siberia, the other America, Africa and Iran. Dr. Schütt writes regulary for the magazine “MUT“ and writes also for the newspapers “FAZ“, “Die Welt“ and the “Rheinische Merkur“.


He also broadcasts on the radio station “Deutschlandfunk“. His first book of narratives was released by MUT publishers in 1996 under the title “Notlandung in Turkmenistan“ (Emergency landing in Turkmenian) in which he relates in allegoric form the errings and vicissitudes of his own life. In 2001 his book “Allah’s Sonne lacht über der Alster; 111 Geschichten aus der 1002. Nacht“ (Allah’s sun laughs over the River Alster, 111 stories from the 1002nd night) was published, for which Davood Roostaei designed the cover.

Dr. Peter Schütt is a member of the “Patriotische Gesellschaft von 1765“, the oldest civic society in Hamburg, and he has presided there over the interreligious dialogue since 1993. 



As an Oriental, Davood Roostaei paints the splendor of the sanctified as if it were behind a veil. Thus his pictures become ambiguous and laminary. They are open to the most varied interpretations and points of view; they could even be regarded, like the figurations in Islamic art, as being instruction in meditation. They can be comprehended surrealistically, supernaturally and metaphysically. They not only address the physical eye, but also the spiritual eye; a dimension otherwise completely lacking in contemporary Western art. Davood Roostaei regards as his break-through to Cryptorealism his large-sized painting “Arena“  which was painted in 1989 and has as its theme one of the painter’s favorite motifs, the bullfight. Personal, political and ideological grievances merge into each other.


The matador is the artist himself, the bull symbolizes the hostile spirit of the present age. But Davood Roostaei transcends the subjective level by producing an historic association through an abundance of allegorical figures. Thus the personal conflict culminates in a panorama of world affairs in which human and animal powers fight with each other to the death. There follows a series of representations of philosophers. In the subjectively perceived picture “Thus spake Zaroastra“ two Nietzsche portraits look each other in the eyes. Between them in fiery colours the figure of Zaroastra. Self realisation, the picture, conveys, is the way to penetrate the spiritual world.  


In this painting, two portraits of Nietzsche look each other in the eyes, a symbol for dialogue with himself. At the centre of the picture, between the two heads, is a portrait of Zoroaster emer- ging from the Nietzsche portrait on the right as if expressing new intellectual creation. This painting is in shades of red representing the religion of Zaroaster.  

“Thus spoke Zoroaster“

150 x 120 cm.

oil and acrylic on canvas

in a private collection  


“The Fair Arena“

120 x 80 cm.

Soil and Artist's blood on canvas

in a private collection  


“Arena I“

160 x 120 cm.

oil and acrylic on canvas

in a private collection  


”After having spent a lot of time studying all forms of art in the search for his own means of artistic expression, Davood Roostaei decided upon Surrealism. However, he soon found that this did not allow him sufficient possibilities of expression. Because of this, he became frustrated and felt unable to continue painting. His despair was so strong that he began talking aloud to himself, asking what he could possibly do. Then one night, the pressure was so great that his feelings erupted like a vulcano and he began to paint as if possessed, wildly putting his feelings on to canvas. After some time, his yellow paint was used up, and without thinking that it was 4 a.m. and the sun just rising, he rushed to his neighbours’ doors asking if they could lend him some yellow paint.


It was only afterwards that he could understand why some had raged at him and some had laughed and closed their doors on him. Now he was obliged to wait several hours until the shops openened. During that time his pent-up feelings tortured him, and had he had the choice at that moment of owning the world or a tube of yellow paint, he would have chosen the latter. He felt that he would even have cut his own veins if yellow paint would flow from them instead of blood. He phoned a young woman-friend of his to tell her of his predicament, but it interested her not at all and she put down the receiver. As soon as it was possible, Davood Roostaei bought the paint he needed and rushed back to his studio to continue painting. When he was finally exhausted, mentally and physically, he stood back and looked in amazement at what he had created. He had found his means of expression, and it became an innovation in art history!


Davood Roostaei forgot his weariness and immediately phoned his manager of that time, but he was merely amused, considering it impossible that such a young artist could create a new art form. Davood Roostaei then decided to phone a long-standing acquaintance of his, Prof. Hanns Theodor Flemming, the renowned art critic and art journalist. Prof. Flemming and his wife visited him and both were enthralled, having never seen such strongly expressive work. This path which Davood Roostaei had now taken, he must continue to tread and to defend against all opposition. From the creation of this first picture in the new style, it took over six years until Prof. Flemming decided upon the name "Cryptorealism" for it. Unconsciously Davood Roostaei had painted an arena in that first picture.


In the right-hand half of it is a huge matador with a horn on his forehead standing before a small bull. He, like the bull, is pierced through with a sword as an allegory of the fact that in the arena, as in war, there is no loser and no winner. Towards the centre of the picture is a small matador standing before a huge bull which fills the whole surface of the picture. The upper background shows an army of many men carrying weapons and flags. They are rushing towards a single yellow figure representing the evil which can overcome each individual. Scattered over the entire picture are portrayals of deformed people and bulls.

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