Home Magazine A conversation with Mehdi Nabavi

Mehdi Nabavi uses mirrors as the representation of subjectivity in human kind. Read the Article to discover more.

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Mehdi Nabavi is a contemporary artist from Iran. He is known for his artistic artworks using mix media such as cut mirrors which he positions besides his sculptures and portraits. He thinks people do not perceive objects as they really are, but that we see everything through our own perspective.

Kooness: Tell us about your latest collection of sculptures.

Mehdi Nabavi: The upcoming exhibition at Sholeh Abghari Art Gallery includes two collections of my recent artworks. Perspective of motifs and portrait patterns.

K: Is there anything in particular that inspires you? Refer to one or more statues

MN: The repeating motifs in traditional architecture from one hand and perspective as a new look at old motifs from the other hand, as well as some iconic contemporary artworks have inspired me to achieve this series.

Mehdi Nabavi. The side of the motifs series, 2022. Courtesy of Sholeh Abghari Gallery

K: How did your art evolve through the years? Have you always worked on sculptures?

MN: I have been learning painting from the age of 10 and I have been teaching since I was 17 years old. At the age of 19, I was the youngest artist admitted to the Iranian Contemporary Painting Biennale.Then I have been exhibiting my artworks in a variety of art galleries, art fairs and museums around the world since 2010 as a contemporary artist. My artworks were mostly paintings until 2012 and I was engaged in the production of 3D works after that. But the latest collections are actually kind of 3D artworks which are presented in 2D style.

K: What materials do you use?

MN: I still use oil color and other painting mediums in some series but as the most known artworks of mine this collection is also made of mosaics of mirrors on wood and UV prints on mirror on wood.

K: What do your artworks represent to you?

MN: My art reminds me of the confrontation between the present and past, West and the East, and also the different periods of my own life.

K: How does your background and upbringing influence your work?

Mehdi Nabavi. The side of the Motifs series. Courtesy of Sholeh Abghari Gallery.


MN: I believe that years of insisting on following classical painting along with familiarity with contemporary views on the concept of art have finally made my art a representative of a contemporary view in traditional arts.

K: What have your watchers said about your works? What would you want to transmit?

MN: Before paying attention to the statement, most of the audience are just fascinated by the brilliance and beauty of the work, but some others find the opportunity to communicate with the visual signs I include in the artwork and get closer to my personal world.

K: Please explain how to develop the artwork "Portrait", its technique and meaning

MN: In fact, I use different colors of mirror for painting and in the last series of my portraits some old miniatures have been printed on cut mirrors, the concept of miniature has a meaningful relationship with the character used in the portrait and I have tried to point out that societies have always used different icons to point out the same concepts of heroes, celebrities, and stories in different times. 

Cover image: Mehdi Nabavi. Portrait. Courtesy of Sholeh Abghari Gallery

Written by Asia Artom

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