Mehdi Sharafi

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Born in 1983, Mehdi Sharafi lived in Iran until he was 28. He currently lives and works in Paris. He started academic studies at the University of Art in Tehran, even tough he had began serious artistic activity before. He pursued studies in arts in France, in Strasbourg and Paris, and obtained his PhD in Visual Arts at Paris 8 University. During all these years, he has been engaged with artistic practice, resulting in various periods of work, comprising numerous series and artworks, with great variety in terms of manners and processes, but also concepts and approaches.

“My approach to the question of creation has always been based on possibilities to develop a way, a process, a concept, a question, a subject, etc. In fact, when I choose a subject or concept, I ask myself: How much is it prone to be developed? And with what quality? As an artist, how can I be in a context to open such possibilities?
This approach becomes a multilayered vision in my field of specialization, namely the pictorial space. To me, the process of creating a pictorial space is the result of a dialectic between visible and invisible layers. The visible layers create the quality of the pictorial space and the invisible layers participate in developing the quality of the visible ones.
In the course of my artistic path, diverse trials and errors, searches for subjective images, passages to adaptations, returns to familiar elements and combining them with subjective images, and the questions of exploration, improvisation, pentimenti, searches of manners based on destruction, and explorations of different concepts in the pictorial space have been developed in the context of this vision.
Visible layers pile up: they are modified, repeated, destroyed and recreated. This process goes on based on the research of a new conceptual-pictorial quality in the context of pictorial arts. Between each two visible layers hide uncountable invisible ones, constituting the essence of your conscience, of your vision, your challenges as a contemporary artist-painter. To enhance the quality of these invisible layers, you must explore, analyze and better the quality of the vision of the artist.
Layers get repeated, and at the heart of each repetition lies something new – an effort aiming at something new. This unending approach creates a dynamic dialectic between my vision of the world and my working process. I consider that this vision is closest to the essence of painting and pictorial space.”


Mehdi Sharafi