Mehdi Farhadian

Farhadian, born in 1980, is a Tehran-based Iranian painter who uses vibrant colours, supernatural imagery and layers of imagination in his canvases. The magical imagery in his works evoke a nostalgic longing for the past and yet also hint at a futuristic utopia.  In his new series of works Farhadian departs from his usual references to history and architecture and instead explores nature and man's relationship to the natural forces that surround. Influenced by the paintings of Peter Doig, Neo Rauch and David Hockney, Farhadian invites the viewer to contemplate a time bygone and to consider the universal and ever-present power of nature.


Inspired by his childhood memories of Northern Iran, Farhadian produces visually rich and stunning paintings of large-scale mountain ranges, wide skies and forest scenes.  In these landscape Farhadian's protagonists appear small and insignificant against the magnificent backdrop of vast rocks and clouds, streams and woods.   Women and men, birds and beasts immerse themselves in Mother Nature appearing to enjoy the sensuality of the long grass, the deep forests and soothing waters; captivated by the vastness of their surroundings.  And yet these majestic paintings hint at a deep feeling of pain and longing and an uncanny sense of unease and ambiguity prevails. The viewer is left wondering if the message is one of hope or hopelessness, struggle or defeat. With Farhadian the possibilities are endless. 


Farhadian was born in 1980, and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tehran University with an MFA in Painting. He has held two solo exhibitions at Mah Art Gallery, Tehran and in 2011 he was shortlisted for the Magic of Persia Contemporary Art Prize (MOPCAP).  He has exhibited in international group exhibitions in Paris, Beijing and New York most notably In the Mood for Paper, F2 Gallery, Beijing; Iran Inside Out, Chelsea Museum, New York and Iran Without Border Galerie Almine Rech, Paris.  Farhadian currently lives and works in Tehran.