Mehrdad Fallah: A Fresh Perspective on Iranian Art / A Piece of Art on the Auction Table and the Perspective of Three Art Critics
Iranart : Currently up for auction is a piece by Mehrdad Fallah, about whom famed Iranian poet and critic Reza Baraheni stated: "His works are expected to usher in a new era in the Saqqa-khaneh movement's methods due to his strong and skillful technique."
The Saqqa-Khaneh movement is not the main focus of this article; rather, what matters is that fresh interpretations of Iranian art are made possible by the movement's current ethos. Over the past twenty years, Fallah has shown a keen interest in this tendency in all six of his solo shows as well as numerous group exhibitions both inside and outside of Iran.
One of his works, which is now up for auction at Zero Auction of Artibition Auctions in Tehran, is a 1999 Wonder Creature Collection piece that closely matches the late Reza Baraheni and other greats' descriptions. The measurements are 100 by 100 cm.
Two contemplative angels occupy the image's center in this work of art. The heavenly beings are covered in numerous visual cues, from head to toe, and they are surrounded by an odd and intriguing atmosphere. Fallah's artwork demands the audience to take their time in order to fully appreciate its instantaneous aesthetics and enjoy every detail on first glance.
Because of the atmosphere that envelops them in code, prayer letters, and never-ending visual signs, every part of these angels—from their obviously artistic faces to the apple one is holding, the fish and rooster on the lap, and everything in between—needs to be comprehended in greater depth.
Mehrdad Fallah, who was born in 1975, consciously and audaciously alters his works' visual lexicon from Iranian to international, adding pop art influences into the world of traditional Iranian art.
He gains this fearlessness by investigating the origins and stages of Saqqa-khaneh's formation.
He carries out a visual "renovation" that goes beyond the union of modernity and tradition. His works of art are known by both Iranians and global citizens for their historical motifs, which allow the latter to join in debate without having to comprehend these archetypes.
Although Fallah's paintings contain remnants of Iranian literature, such as Rumi and Khayyam's poems, his Wonder Creature series, Lion with Line Collection, and Rooster Collection are very desirable.
_ Shamim Bahar
The renowned critic Shamim Bahar describes him thus: "Tradition and modernity are at odds with one another. Modernity wants nothing to stay as it is, whereas tradition wants everything to stay as it is. Tradition and modernity combine to form a representation of human life. Modernity causes culture to evolve and change with time, while tradition keeps culture distinct and steady."
He goes on to say: "Without tradition, culture would disappear into a swamp like water. Since art is a cultural expression, this point of view of art is entirely accurate. A person who deviates from any artistic tradition becomes rootless, whereas the non-modern personality is regressive. Original art, as a form of cultural expression, can only arise from the fusion of tradition and modernity, and Mehrdad Fallah provides us with a delightful example of this fusion in his artwork. He is a really creative artist."
_ Abbas Mashhadizadeh
With regard to Mehrdad Fallah, Abbas Mashhadizadeh, a well-known figure in Iranian sculpture and painting who participated in the Saqqa-khaneh movement in the past and even coordinated a group painting exhibition alongside Mansoor Ghandriz and Faramarz Pilaram, writes: "Hooshang Kazemi's horticultural creation, the Saqqa-khaneh movement, was the sweet fruit of Iran's traditional culture. The late Sadegh Tabrizi, one of the pioneers of the Saqqa-khaneh movement, is a productive branch of this tree, and Mehrdad Fallah was fortunate to study under such a great scholar."
The author of the three-volume book "History of Iranian Art" states in another passage of his article that "Fallah, like a lion he made, is now going wild after putting in a lot of labor and a solid foundation. He has embarked on a journey that has the potential to yield numerous breakthroughs in the realm of contemporary art inside our nation, and for good reason."
Prospective buyers of this Wonder Creature Collection item have until 9 p.m. on Monday, January 1, 2024, to bid on it during the Zero Auction.