Iranian artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo was in Shoreditch over the weekend painting a piece on Saturday in Redchurch Street and a second one on Monday in Holywell Lane. I was fortunate enough to stumble across this artist, of whom I had not heard of, but was instantly impressed by what I saw. Born in Iran in 1981, Ghadyanloo worked as a farmer, before moving to Tehran and gaining a degree in Fine Art as well as an MA in Animation. Combining these two disciplines with his own approach to street art Ghadyanloo has gone on to become one of the most famous street artists in Iran.
For the past eight years Ghadyanloo has been involved with the Municipality of Tehran’s Beautification Scheme, promoting mural art in the city. For Ghadyanloo street art is the perfect means to beautify his grey and polluted city. He achieves this through the use of bright colours on a hyper-real scale to create escapist, and surreal dreamscapes in which his images portray, through the art of optical illusion, impossible scenes and feats of gravity. His work is very much influenced by Surrealism and Symbolism and through this he sets to create playful and fantasy motifs to generate his own distinct utopia on the walls of his city. His murals reflect the surroundings and immediate environment, in Tehran he sets through his work to forego political commentary and focuses on the dreams and imagination, aspects of the self that permeate all cultures, politics and religions, a universal component in humanity.
The piece on Redchurch Street.
At work in Holywell Lane on Monday.
The completed wall on Holywell Lane.
Mehdi Ghadyanloo painted these walls ahead of his upcoming solo exhibition at the Howard Griffin Gallery on Shoreditch High Street, which opens on February 26th.