“Merveilles” 24×18 acrylic on canvas © 2020 Aïda Touré

“Die before you die” ~Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

“Merveille” is part of the series “Exalted”. This painting depicts the embrace of pure peace, warmth and abundance that submerses the soul… We can become aware of it through ego dissolution, love and meditation.

~ Merveille (Marvel) ~

Oscillating in and out of myself,
I end up awakening
to your shimmering presence~
Jewels just drop off of you,
wo! I lose the sense of definition
between your hands and mine~
Merveille! Merveille! Merveille!
I wonder why I ever thought
you were so far whereas
you’re closer to me than “I”…

© 2020 Aïda Touré

The Rubies of Sensitivity 24×18 mixed media on canvas © 2020 Aïda Touré

“The Rubies of Sensitivity” is part of my new series of paintings “E x a l t é” (E x a l t e d) that was inspired by my journey through the deepest form of Surrender I ever experienced. The series visually relates the Love that carried me through it.  Each painting was prompted by the immersion in the awareness that there only is Unity~

This painting “The Rubies of Sensitivity” celebrates the power of Sensitivity which is an opening to the Divine as it allows humble ones to feel vast dimensions of reality and to bring back various gems from it. Sensitivity is to be embraced as it is a corridor to the spiritual realms our souls know.

~ The Rubies of Sensitivity ~

O you, sensitive soul,
freer than oceans,
you wear the ultimate crown~
You embodied to adorn the world
with the Rubies of Sensitivity.
Veils lift and beauties appear!
Behind your gaze hide sages;
through you, they return.
Let us marvel at these comings
and goings between love and invisibility,
the poetry of your features;
your pilgrim eyes, how artful!
Everything is calligraphy on your face.
Without respite, your eyelashes trace
the Sun’s secret alphabet.
You are a universe mirroring itself,
our reminder to soften,
you are the tears we’re scared to shed,
you are the spheres’ Music we can’t hear yet!

© 2020 Aïda Touré


Omnipresence 24″x18″ © 2020 Aida Toure

“Wherever you turn, you are always in the presence of God.” ~2:115 Qur’an

Description: “Omnipresence” is part of the series “E x a l t e d”. This painting is about the solace that can surge during difficulties when we remember that the Divine Presence surrounds us, unconditionally~

~ Omnipresence ~

With every breath,
fashion me as you will!
Your command is Music:
Come to me!” you whisper
and I fall from my curves,
laying there between the spheres
as light deploys its circular wings,
the sun and the moon appear
simultaneously to bear witness
that Unity is all there is~
We all are taken care of
in ways we cannot fathom.
Soul full of bliss,
I revolve around you…

© 2020 Aïda Touré

“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

Description: 8″x10″ oil & acrylic on canvas~ One of the 99 Names of the Divine One, “Al Latif: The Most Subtle” celebrates an attribute that inherently pervades the soul. This attribute finds expression through awareness of our most sublime states so it takes inner polishing for it to be fully expressed outwardly. Subtlety is the very quality that is found in all spiritually awakened beings. Contemplation on this attribute brings healing, solace and lightness of being to self and to those who come across the recipient of this grace. Working on this painting, its visuals conveyed from the start the soothing energies contained in Subtlety so the creative process was particularly beautiful.

~ The Most Subtle ~

O effusive Light
that fashions our becoming,
we read your vertical signs
with the sun and the moon in chorus,
we praise You in infinite ways!
O You who are not exhausted
by Your Attributes
as You pervade
the black holes
of the Heart that
relentlessly contemplates
on you; expanding, giving,
throbbing with anticipation
of being in the gentleness
of Your Presence anew!

© 2015 Aïda Touré

“He is the All-forgiving, the Most Loving One.” ~85:14 Qur’an
“And I am with the ones whose heart is broken for My sake.” ~Hadith Qudsi

Description: 10″x8″ oil & acrylic on canvas. I wanted to work anew on paintings that depicted the most beautiful Names of the Beloved as central themes of the pieces. Al Wadud means “The Most Affectionate” or “The Most Loving”, He is the very source of all nurturance and healing we may experience through the gift of Love. There is sacred purpose to suffering as it diminishes the ego~  Only then can divine closeness be felt with greater sensitivity as the heart is broken; this brokenness creates an opening through which the Light enters and thus it becomes the essential reality of such a humble heart~ Below is the poem that captured this painting.

~ Al Wadud: The Secret of Secrets ~

my tenderness crawls
on the ground to form
a carpet of jewels for
Your first light to walk upon;
this contact to his feet
lights up the galaxies’
sacred Recitation~
Every letter leaps, curves
and then points to You;
Lo! My pen just broke
to the Sound of their dance!
Can materiality disclose
the Secret of Secrets
without first being broken
Oh I dangle from myself,
as this question scurries
by my seven spheres!
“In a natural move
of collapse into Your Grace,

all atoms bow to You”
the cosmic pulse says,
“our letting go of self
to become immersed in You
is the soul’s intimate Way.”
Ya Wadud, O Beloved,
I whirl in joy,
lost in the infinity
of Your All Pervasive Love~

© 2015 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.
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“Their light will proceed before them and on their right; they will say, “Our Lord, perfect for us our light and forgive us. Indeed, You are over all things competent.” ~Qur’an 66:8

“We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth.” ~Qur’an 41:53

“And proclaim the bounty of your Lord.” ~Qur’an 93:11

“Whoever knows oneself knows one’s Lord” ~Prophet Muhammad (saw)

Description: “The Very Self of the Self” is a 40″x30″ oil and acrylic painting that I worked on to celebrate the dissolution of the ego which is followed by the eclosion into divine grace: the lives of true sages are a reflection of this innermost alignment. When man is left to explore his inner life, undisturbed by all the conditionings of the world, he then exists harmonious, whole, in a natural state of awareness before the signs of all creation which are but an on-going Revelation… I immensely enjoyed developing this piece that symbolizes the glory of detachment, of unconditional alignment with the Unique and His attributes. The poem that inspired this painting is below.

~ The Very Self of the Self ~

Peel the golden layer off of you,
lo! Another one appears,
you are made of bouncy
luxurious particles
that ever reach for love,
Beauty appears from
this continual leaning
toward grace~
La ilaha illa Allah
uncover who you are,
between the praises and
the pauses caused by pain,
your soul is one elegant lover
whose movements brush Light,
embrace this delight
let us hear the holy recital
you were made to vehicle~
this intimate contact
sparked all magnificence
you see in life,
no one lives outside of it;
it’s the very self of the self!
Come in, leap in this fiery
divine romance within, there,
the Sufis gather in awe
of your soul’s buoyancy~

© 2011-2013 Aïda Touré

“… 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