“Women are not created weaker but more generous than men. They are created more beautiful and less fierce, as beauty hates to hurt and harm others. That is why they seem weak to people, but in reality they are not. Angels are the strongest of created beings, and women are closer to the angelic nature than men, as they are readier than men to carry angelic light. It is the good manners and ethics of spirituality which they carry which makes them less forceful than men.” ~Prophet Muhammad (saw)

Description: “Kawthar: Princess of Mali” is a 22″x28″ oil and acrylic painting that I worked on for several months. “Kawthar” is the 8th painting of the Luminous Dark Matter” series. The Arabic word Kawthar means “Abundance”. The painting’s theme celebrates the Songhai empire of Mali whose level of spiritual realization is a constant source of inspiration for me. “Kawthar: Princess of Mali” simply evokes the embodiment of the high spiritual culture that can manifest on Earth when mankind aligns with its innate divine consciousness. The poem below inspired the painting.

~Kawthar: Princess of Mali~

O Fountain of Immanence,
a gem from the Throne itself,
laid on the two hemispheres
of the Seen and the Unseen,
mystery dancing upon the Waters
of Wisdom from ancient Arabia to Mali,
you are the decoded undulation
the first light laid in Fatima’s hands
before he took his last breath.
O Kawthar, the Sun’s calligraphy
tells of you still, you catalyze
the signs Idris engraved
upon the Heart of Kemet~
From infinity to manifestation,
you are the most guarded secret
enveloped in nighttime’s veil.
O you Kawthar, the very locus
of the Knowledge usurpers coveted,
you ascend through prostration
in service to the Divine Beloved~

© 2016 Aïda Touré

Aïda Touré: Luminous Dark Matter

February 8th – February 28th 2015

In celebration of Black History Month, Rio II Gallery is pleased to present the exhibit “Luminous Dark Matter” by Gabonese Malian artist Aïda Touré. This will be her second New York solo show (curated by Jose Reyes) since her exhibit “Inner Treasures” at Rio Penthouse Gallery in 2011. The opening reception is on Sunday February 8th, 3-6pm.

The “Luminous Dark Matter” exhibit comprises the series of the same title by the artist as well as abstract paintings inspired by her Sufi poetry. “Luminous Dark Matter” evokes the Unity of all as the series explores the sublime origin of mankind through the portrayal of Black women in ancient historical contexts.

The art works of Aïda Touré are renowned for their exuberance which celebrates the Sufi tradition. Her exalting paintings are in private and public art collections internationally.

Aïda Touré was born in Gabon, she published three books of Sufi poetry whose imagery suddenly inspired her to start painting.
For additional information contact: info@aidatoure.com


“… A fountain there, called Salsabil.” ~Qur’an 76:18

“And a dervish is he who is indifferent to everything besides God.” ~Abd Al Qadir Al Jilani (ra)

Description: 40″x30″ oil and acrylic on canvas. This painting “Salsabil” is the seventh one of the series “Luminous Dark Matter”, I worked on it for 18 months, it was a pure joy to work on it visually and musically and to complete it during Ramadan. “Salsabil” is a source in Paradise. When the idea of conceiving this painting came, its imagery was so beautiful I started to work on it right away. In this context the “Salsabil” theme relates to abundance, grace, mercy and splendor that manifest multidimensionally, from the highest spheres of existence all the way to the purified human heart. When we live from this state of grace, we become an instrument through which the Divine realizes what He wills~ It takes great sensitivity to express the attributes conveyed throughout such an experience. On this painting, the two subjects manifest reception of these attributes as well as the soul’s longing for its sublime origin. The poem that inspired “Salsabil” is below.

~Salsabil: this Yearning of the Spheres~

After a sip of Salsabil,
the hidden soul appears as it is,
ornamented with its primal gems
gravity had veiled.
Now behold that which
pervades your being~
All souls are hidden
from their pre-cosmic unfolding
at the feet the Beloved yet
they dance together,
invisible lights
made visible only tonight,
how grandiose!
Let all lovers join
this whirling,
this contagious longing,
this drumbeat in my ear,
this yearning of the spheres
even unseen, to the lovers’ eyes,
we appear wrapped in
delicate veils of ecstasy,
billions of suns near,
they kiss the intimacy
between our fingerprints
and I get inflamed,
this holy burning is
our corridor to the Beloved.

© 2011-2013 Aïda Touré

Zaid ibn Aslam related that the prophet (pbuh) saw a vision and told his companions about it. The Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) said, (in a dream): “I saw myself following a herd of black sheep. Then a group of white sheep came (and mixed with the black sheep) until they (the white sheep) became so many that the black sheep could no longer be seen in the herd of sheep.” Abu Bakr, the companion of the Prophet (pbuh) and the interpreter of dreams, said, “Oh Messenger of Allah, as for the black sheep, they are the Arabs. They will accept Islam and become many. The white sheep are the non-Arab Persians, etc. They will accept Islam and become so many that the Arabs will not be noticed amongst them.” The Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) then said that an angel had interpreted the dream the same way.” ~Tarikh Khulufa of Imam Suyuti.

Description: 40″x30″ oil & acrylic on canvas. This piece entitled “Sabia the Arabian Mystic” is the sixth one of the series Luminous Dark Matter. My intention in painting “Sabia the Arabian Mystic” was to celebrate Black Arabia whose descendants’ glorious standing in history has been forgotten. There is a deep-layered meaning to this intricately detailed piece: the subject “Sabia” is enrobed in light, the book she holds is a metaphor for her heart, the seat of Knowledge which is the very foundation of the native Arabs’ rich culture. What compelled me to conceive this painting is the prejudice against the dark skin Arabs (in Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Mauritania, Sudan, North Africa) who for centuries have been oppressed and called “slaves” on a land that is originally and historically theirs as the Arabian peninsula was part of East Africa (the Kush empire) until it was invaded. Thus “Sabia the Arabian Mystic” symbolizes the exalted ancestry of the native Arabs whose great history has deliberately been obscured and whose dignity and rights are violated on a daily basis. It’s primordial to reestablish authentic history so that the sublime common origin of all beings subsides the centuries-old lowliness and criminality of racism. May the Divine fill our heart with humility, grace and love so that we gain greater understanding of our unified origin and thus realize the equality of all.

~ Sabia the Arabian Mystic ~

From the Black Light,
you blew particles
to the souls of the first soul,
gracefully holding the pen
of existence itself,
you dictated these secrets
to the euphoric beings
who embodied your cosmic,
whirling obscurity,
the very sign of Luminosity~
Look, your ancient Scrolls
scurry across space still,
and moved, we shed tears!
O Eastern Wind,
you who selflessly taught
the Way of the pure Heart,
we rejoice for you have come
anew to mirror the glory
of Allahu’s Love!

© 2013 Aïda Touré