Last Thursday Iranian artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo’s ‘Perception’ exhibition opened at the Howard Griffin Gallery in Shoreditch. I had been fortunate enough to meet Mehdi whilst he was painting each of his three walls currently up in Shoreditch, so was very much eagerly awaiting the opening of this exhibition, so as soon as the weekend hit I went by, and my expectations were certainly met. I could stare at Mehdi’s work all day long, his examination of space, time and perspective with a surrealist twist is just absorbing, you just find yourself transfixed on his works. So simple yet so very much to take in.
In Tehran where Mehdi has honed his craft, there were rules against propagandistic subject matter, which suited Mehdi well. Mehdi’s work consists of escapist surrealist dreamscapes that depict impossible feats of altered perception and gravity defying events creating an image of his own utopian viewpoint. Mehdi’s works are personal to his life, influenced by rural scenes from his childhood and his own dreams. Mehdi takes care and time to think out each of his walls, in order to make them all relevant to the surroundings and moment.
A major theme on Mehdi’s work is a prevailing sense of suspended time in which people and objects hang in the air, hovering above the world below. This is particularly poignant in his sculptures made of resin, in which the people and figures are literally suspended in space. In this exhibition there is a far darker mood than his traditional street murals, depicting baron landscapes inhabited by floating objects that dominate the environment and cast a dark shadow on the people beneath them. Although not a political artist, it’s possible to see the very fabric of Iranian existence in which peoples lives are controlled by large imposing forces, outside elements and an uncertain future.
One of his resin sculptures.
This is my favourite piece.
This is Mehdi’s first exhibition outside of Iran, as his walls were also his first works ever painted outside of Iran. I for one think the art world is gonna love this mans work, I sincerely hope this is not the last we see of Mehdi Ghadyanloo in London. The exhibition runs until April 2nd. Head along and you won’t be disappointed at all.
You can view my posts on Mehdi Ghadyanloo’s three street art pieces in the area around the Howard Griffin Gallery, with his first two works (covered here), and his large wall on Shoreditch’s iconic Village Underground wall (covered here).