Mahmoud Meraji was born on February 18, 1958 in Tehran. He started painting in 1974, and in 1998, immigrated to Canada with his wife and son. Throughout the years he has been experimenting with different mediums, and he is now more focused on working with pastel and oil color. His art work spans Classicism, Realism and Surrealism. The present series are the result of his endeavor in Modernism.
I had noticed a modernist trend in Mahmoud Merhaji’s work, an insistence on creating a new reality despite his obvious adeptness at portraiture and realistic depiction. The super realism associated with the pop movement (Chuck Close), and then with the recent New German Painters has taken realistic depiction back into vogue.
This could have been an expected progression in Mahmoud Meraji’s work – to continue, with such a strong hand, his portraiture. Yet he insisted on making steps forward into the unknown, into modernism. There is an old world craftsmanship in Mahmoud Meraji’s unique visions. He has the hand of a fine drawer that can lay rightful claim to the glory of admiration at his talent and ability to depict. He uses his technical ability to support a far more inaccessible narrative.
Like the story-line of dreams where the connections are hard to make but the sense is embedded in the memorable impact of the visual, so his figures and their situations veer away from logic to enter a more instinctual realm. He uses a vocabulary of images that seem to possess romantic underpinnings. The work is subtle and classy, intellectual and yet fresh. His use of colors illustrates his taste, it is never too much, sparingly doled out to accentuate the detailed rendering.
Mahmoud uses repetition in a symphonic sense, subverting rhythms in favour of a melody that forms agreeable successions and arrangements of shapes and movements. It is a classical melody with attention to form lending a general effect of balance while the emotions are distant and collected. Mahmoud Meraji is graceful in his depiction. He is discrete with a gentleman’s manners. And because of these layers of meanings, not quite revealed, but refined and cultured, the work touches the finer aspects of our own connoisseurship.
It invites us into the Meraji realm, one of good breeding where the origins of drawing are accomplished and can thus enter into higher conversations. If the iconography is not always clear, it is because there is a learning process in place and Meraji is teaching us how to see his world as he offers a respite from the clarion perspective of contemporary depersonalization.
|2011 Figurative Show; OCAD University, Toronto2009-2010 The Kingston Prize, Kingston2009 Figutation; Headbones Gallery, Toronto2009 Ab strack’tid, Headbones Gallery , Toronto
2009 The Canadian Portrait: Today and Tomorrow Toronto , Toronto
2008 International Arts Festival; Miracle of the Portrait Toronto , Toronto
2008 Varley Gallery of Markham; Buddha Composed (collaboration), Toronto
2008 harbourfront centre; Tiregan, Iranian Festival , Toronto
2007 Iranian artists’ cultural reunion, Six weeks of Iranian Art , Toronto
2007 Varley Gallery of Markham, Canadian Artists without Boarder
1985 Niyavaran Cultural Centre , Tehran , Iran
One Man Shows
2007 Mystic Iranian Curves,Six weeks of Iranian Art
1997 The Iranian Community Association of Ontario
1985 Niyavaran Cultural Centre, Tehran
1997 Iranian Community Association of Ontario
1997 Arya Art Gallery
1996 Arya Art Gallery
1993 Golestan Art Gallery
1991 Golestan Art Gallery
2011 People Choice Award; Figurative Show; OCAD University, Toronto
2010 Headbones Artist Choice Prize , Toronto
2008 Grand prize 2008 International Arts Festival- Miracle of the Portrait, Toronto
2008 Art/ Humanities – National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada, Toronto
2002 Honorable mention Award, Scarborough Art Council, Toronto , Ontario
1993 First Prize Winner, Iranian Fair of Flowers & Nature , Tehran , Iran