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Famed artist selling ‘cryptorealism’ paintings to benefit Ukraine

(NewsNation) — You’ve heard of cryptocurrency. But what about cryptorealism?

It’s a new form of expression created by world-renowned painter Davood Roostaei, whose work has left an indelible mark on the art world over the last 30 years.

Now, Roostaei has decided to use his art, which regularly sells for hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Ukraine.

“I created cryptorealism in the late 80s,” Roostaei said. “Cryptorealism is an expression of hidden meaning revealed through layer imagery, which requires active participation by the observer.”

As a refugee of war himself, Roostaei was inspired by the horrific events unfolding in Ukraine.

“As someone who has experienced political injustice, and live through both a revolution and war, it always affects me deeply to see others experiencing the same thing,” he said. “What’s happening in groups in Ukraine right now is truly horrifying.”

Roostaei channels his pain into his art.

“It’s all very visceral to me,” he said. “I have lived through what people are currently going through in Ukraine.”

Roostaei paints entirely with his hands forgoing the use of brushes or other utensils.

“I can better explain my feeling, my vision, my views, with my hands,” he said. “Without anything between me and my artwork. So I paint with my hands.”

According to Roostaei, his latest work made specifically in support of Ukraine is a call for peace.

“I want people to come together and help support conflict resolution,” he said.

The piece is expected to fetch up to $1 million for Ukraine relief efforts.

“I am very happy to be able to help,” he said. “And I also think everyone should contribute how they can to help. We are all humans. We are all one. We should always be there for each other.”

Watch the full interview with Davood Roostaei in the video player at the top of the page.