Merging the style of the early 20th Century surrealists with contemporary street art, Tehran-based artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo’s work is strange and beguiling. He’s currently in London, busying himself with the mammoth task of creating murals all around the capital, including one measuring a whopping 3.4km. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s also showing at the Howard Griffin Gallery in London, in an exhibition entitled Perception.
While the street art stuff is superbly rendered and so clever in its trompe l’oeils, for us the work really shines on canvas. The pieces are quiet, still, and mesmerising. “It is so clean and utopian/dystopian,” says gallery founder Richard Howard-Griffin. “There is a very discernible Soviet aesthetic to his work. Soviet art very much influenced Mehdi’s generation who grew up during the Iranian Revolution.”
The London show presents the work in a whole-gallery installation that sees the space clad in canvas and painted grey, with an “infinity square” at the back of the room and a resin tunnel at the front. Constantly toying with the viewers’ senses and making familiar subjects seem new and weird, Richard has declared Mehdi “a Magritte for our times.”
Perception is at the Howard Griffin Gallery in Shoreditch, east London until 2 April.
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