In his work, Mostafa Darehbaghi moves back and forth in time with time taken in its both senses: as a singular physical quantity we measure by clocks or as an environment in which life of men flows (just as water for the fish) and to which all their behaviours, deeds, sayings and constructions are subject.

The world of Mostafa’s Arts is a totally abstract world, time being its main constitutive material: it is not a geographical world. Even if, here and there, living creatures (mostly animals) are present, they are floating in a pure non-geographical and somehow placeless space. His pushes them out of a palpable space and leaves them alone, wandering in a particular temporal atmosphere. Living creatures and other objects (also considered alive in an indirect sense, for they are made by man) gain nearly the same abstract value as that of the two-dimensional geometrical or small embossed forms placed by the artist in the space of the work in an orderly, repetitive and steady rhythm.

No matter how placeless the world of Mostafa’s works is or how their atmosphere, mostly temporal, is imbued with purity and simplicity, these works are charged with energy and mobility. Despite the void and ‘neatness’ that comes to eye on first sight and might appear austere or sterile, the works are brimming with a kind of dynamism or even rapture and a hidden anxiety which the viewer recognizes if not mistaken by the neat finishing or the flawless technique. Such (in times) extreme uneasiness hidden under the apparently calm and tranquil surface is the result of a going back and forth. For, this very motion is the artist’s main concern, the persistent movement filling, despite the local limitation and temporal brevity, the abstract space of the work with life. The motion is tenacious enough to finally supply the work with a palpable and local dimension which, although not yet geographical, can serve as metaphor for it. It resembles a wave attacking a nearly two-dimensional container finally expanding it, through continuation of its assault, into a deep vast place. It is due to such dynamism, mobility and hidden anxiety that His works never fall in the ambiguity, austerity and coldness (or in my eyes: lack of identity) of abstract-spatial works, even in their most abstract surfaces resulting from repetition of pure little geometrical forms or combination of small volumes in an orderly repetitive rhythm. Again, due to the same hidden dynamism nearly none of his works can be considered ‘minimal’ while, at first sight, such mistake is probable.

However, apart from what is essential to dynamism of visual elements in the space of painting, such mobility and motion in time consciously or unconsciously also puts forwards a certain doubt. This can be addressed from different viewpoints ranging from a simple technical to fundamental epistemological and subjective ones. By contemplating the mostly temporal and practically placeless space of His works the following fundamental question arise: where are we? There is also a simpler question: where is Mostafa? Together with him, we continue our endeavour in time; along with his dynamism or the unrest hidden behind the calm appearance of the work, we struggle and his final anxieties are transmitted to us. We simply ask without philosophical complication where he is and whither he is heading, for we are confronted with a simple technical uncertainty. An attention to volume is present in what addresses us as a painting; a sculptural attitude, still in an infantile phase, towards space. The little volumes Mostafa depicts in an orderly mechanical rhythm resemble seeds sown across his work; seeds which, if his commuting in the temporal space comes to a selective stand still, might (or might not) grow into volumes. Here a definite decision is at stake. Does what appears to us as a doubt mean the same thing to the artist? It is probable that such instability or unsettled balance between time and place, such unsettled balance between the two-dimensional surface and that which tries to turn three-dimensional is a careful and conscious decision on his part.

Maybe he has chosen to stay in the outer space of the geographical place and to have us accompany with him. If that is the case, we stay with him willingly, for, regardless of the unrest and hidden anxieties, his abstract world is a safe one. It is by no means a violent world: most strangely, even in its most abstract spaces and while confronting mechanically ordered surfaces, we never feel lonely and lost in a void. Maybe such quality stems from a simple reason not recognizable in first glance but particular to Mostafa Darehbaghi’s work: his works, apart from their dynamism and anxiety, are brimming with emotion. Or even kindness. These little and ordered forms might appear mechanical, but between them, sound of cypress, animals and cock-a-doodle-doo is well heard.

Mostafa Darehbaghi

Born in 1966 Tehran , Iran
BA, University of Art, Tehran 1995
Diploma, Plastic Art School, Tehran 1986

Solo Exhibition

2011 Majlis Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2011 Golestan Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2010 Azad Art gallery , Tehran , Iran
2009 Arran gallery, Tehran, Iran
2008 Lagerquist Gallery, Atlanta, USA
2007 Hyatt Hotel & Majlis Gallery Dubai, UAE
2006 Lagerquist Gallery Atlanta, USA
2006 Art and Art Gallery Las Vegas, USA
2005 Miwaa Gallery New York, USA
2005 Majlis Gallery Dubai, U.A.E
2005 Art People Gallery San Francisco, USA
2005 Lagerquist Gallery Atlanta, USA
2004 Lagerquist Gallery Atlanta, USA
2003 Alliance Francaise Atlanta, USA
2001 Golestan Gallery Tehran, Iran
2001 Majlis Gallery Dubai, U.A.E.
2000 Kavir Gallery Rafsanjan, Iran
2000 Asar Gallery Tehran, Iran
1999 Golv Bolag Gallery Stockholm, Sweden
1998 Golestan Gallery Tehran, Iran
1996 Golestan Gallery Tehran, Iran
1995 Classic Gallery Isfehan, Iran
1995 Oriental Gallery Brussel, Belgium
1995 Golestan Gallery Tehran, Iran
1994 Keyhan Gallery Tehran, Iran
1993 Seyhoon Gallery Tehran, Iran
1992 Classic Gallery Isfehan, Iran
1992 Seyhoon Gallery Tehran, Iran
1990 Tehran Gallery Tehran, Iran

Group Exhibition

2011 Omid Mehr Fonention Show Asar Gallery Tehran, Iran
2010 Ten gallery, Tehran , Iran
2010 Farvahar gallery, Tehran, Iran
2009 Golestan gallery, Tehran, Iran
2008 Sotheby’s, London, UK
2008 Bonhams, Dubai, UAE
2008 Niavaran Art Center Tehran, Iran
2007 Art Basil Miami Beach, USA
2007 Linda Durnell Gallery Las Gatos, USA
2006 4th World of Islam Biennial Tehran, Iran
2006 Atlanta Gallery Association Atlanta, USA
2006 Niavaran Art Center Tehran, Iran
2006 Golestan Gallery Tehran, Iran
2006 Iranian Modernist Artist Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
2005 Golestan Gallery Tehran, Iran
2005 Alliance Francaise Atlanta, USA
2005 Miwaa Gallery New York, USA
2005 Iranian Modernist Artist Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
2005 Touch Stone Gallery Washington D.C , USA
2005 Atlanta Gallery Association Atlanta, USA
2005 Armory Show New York city, USA
2004 Seyhoon Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2004 Alliance Francaise Atlanta, USA
2004 Iranian Garden Conceptual Art Tehran, Iran
2004 3rd World of Islam Biennial Tehran, Iran
2003 6th Biennial Painting Tehran, Iran
2003 Abim Group Niavaran Art Center Tehran, Iran
2003 Abim Group Mimara Museum Zagreb, Yugoslavia
2003 ILEX Foundation Boston, USA
2003 Art Center of Plano Plano, Texas, USA
2003 Creative Art Center Pontiac, Michigan, USA
2003 Helen Day Art Center Stowe, Vermont, USA
2002 School of Art and Design Georgia State University Atlanta, USA
2002 William and Florence Schmidt Art Center Belleville, Illinois, USA
2002 Los Angeles Public Library Paul Getty Gallery Los Angeles, USA
2002 Art Museum of Southwestern Texas Beaumont, Texas, USA
2002 2nd World of Islam Biennial Tehran, Iran
2002 Exhibition Baam Earthquake Survivors Tehran, Iran
2002 2nd Conceptual Art Exhibition Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
2001 2nd Drawing Biennial Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
2001 Queen Library Gallery Jamaica, New York city, USA
2001 Meridian International Center Washington D.C., USA
2001 1st Conceptual Art Exhibition Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
2001 10th Triennial, Delhi India
2000 Majlis Gallery Dubai, U.A.E.
2000 5th Biennial Painting Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
2000 1st Drawing Biennial Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
2000 Indianapolis Museum Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
1999 Green Art Gallery Dubai, U.A.E.
1999 Majlis Gallery Dubai, U.A.E,
1998 Majlis Gallery Dubai, U.A.E.
1997 Golestan Gallery Tehran, Iran
1997 4th Biennial Painting Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
1996 2nd National Student Exhibition Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
1996 Charity Exhibition in Support of Hemophilic Patients Tehran, Iran
1995 Golestan Gallery Tehran, Iran
1995 3rd Biennial Painting Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
1994 Seyhoon Gallery Tehran, Iran
1993 2nd Biennial Painting Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
1993 2nd International Flower and Plant Exhibition Tehran, Iran
1992 1st International Flower and Plant Exhibition Tehran, Iran
1991 Columbia University New York, New York City, USA
1991 1st Biennial Painting Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Tehran, Iran
1987 Niavaran Art center Tehran, Iran
1982 – 1986 Aftab Gallery Tehran, Iran

Awards

2000 1St prize 5th Tehran Biannual, Tehran, Iran
2002 1st prize 6th Tehran Biannual, Tehran, Iran
1992 1st prize International Flower Show, Tehran, Iran
1993 1st prize Art in park competition, Tehran, Iran
1990 Yong talent award Tehran university of Art, Tehran Iran
2000 Special Awards Indiana police Modern Art Museum, USA
2005 3rd prize 24th All media competition, Touch Stone Gallery Washington D.C. USA
2005 Best in show, Costal Discovery Museum, Helton head Island, South Carolina, USA
2005 1st prize Cartersvill Show, Georgia, USA
2006 1st Prize Macon Fest, Macon, Georgia, USA

Permanent Collection

Carnegie Hall, New York, New York City, USA
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran
Georgian Bank, Atlanta Georgia, USA
Pasargad Bank Museum, Tehran , Iran
Alliance Francaise of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
UPS Headquarters in Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Consulate of France in Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Sidney Marcus Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Italy Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Brazil Embassy in Tehran, Iran
Salsali Museum, Dubai, UAE
Eghtesad Novin Bank, Tehran, Iran
Helton Hotel, Tehran, Iran
Tehran Conference Hall, Tehran, Iran

Publication

Le Nouvel Observateur January 1998
Golf News November 1998
Iran News paper May 2001
Aquarius Magazine November 2001
Golf News November 2001
Time Out Dubai November 2001
Hamshhri news paper December 2001
Tehran MOMA News October 2002
Golf News March 2002
Los Angeles Times June 2002
Palisadian Post June 2002
Dallas Morning News October 2003
Golf News March 2003
Iran News paper June 2003
Painting and Conceptual Art August 2004
Pardis Atlanta February 2004
Art in America Magazine September 2005
ADAA Art Dealers Association Of America February 2005
Montgomery Advertiser May 2005
Art And Antiques Magazine September 2005
Atlanta Art January 2005
Atlanta journal May 2006
Miami Night Art Basel December 2007
Museums & Galleries Atlanta September 2008
Atlanta Visual Arts Guide February 2009
Museums & Galleries Atlanta January 2009
Art Press Magazine June 2010
Tandis Magazine June 2010
Shargh News paper March 2011