Farhad Azarin

I promised myself not to get caught up in poetics and sentimentality when I was writing part of the introduction to Vahid Mohammadi's book, but it seemed I failed. Perhaps it is because over the past eight years when we have been friends and collaborators I have been closer to his works than he himself even. I have lived with them, astonished, excited by them and each time I touch their unique textures I am thrilled and each new look at it I discover new things there and I have wanted to see the works over and over again. When he wanted to choose images of his previous works for this book, he left everything from choosing the works and correcting the colors to me because he has neither kept an archive of any photographs of his own works nor does he even remerber them.

In my opinion Vahid is a true artist. By this I mean that painting is his profession, and that is not because he earns his living through it or that he has never had an exhibition which didn't sell, he has his own collectors and people who follow his work. Since I know many people who cannot paint but earn a living through painting or they call themselves painters and their work may actually have more viewers. I have rarely seen an artist like Vahid who flees from his viewers and hides from the demands of the art market! No! In my view he is an artist because he has a passion for color and a fascination for experimenting; because, he has always sacrificed everything for painting. His mania and passion for experimenting and his constant challenge with his work, his tireless efforts to strive, his lack of confidence and his arrogance remind me of the artists of the early twentieth century. It seems as though his fascination with color is never ending and neither are his efforts to reach a distinct, deep and satisfying feeling of it. As far as I can see he is an extremely technical but rebellious painter. There is an impalpable oozing of mysticism and mythology in his unique textures and that is an event which in itself is an intuitive or unconscious choice rather than a planned and premeditated one. He is a rebel because although he is fully capable of creating different compositions of environments and figures -despite his need-chooses to escape from common figurative trends dominated by the market and hide in the large colorful cages he has created.

Vahid is from Zanjan, the province which Ptolemy refers to as Azanga, an ancient city built by Ardeshir I, a place which is at the crossroads of civilizations and has witnessed many wars and invasions, a place which seems to have extremely stubborn and rebellious pK>ple who bear the hot summers and severe winters. I presume that this stubbornness is deep rooted within Vahid's highly sensitive and rebellious soul. A soul which is mixed with the naturalism of Ferdinand Celine, adores Mayakovski and his magical poems, likes Woody Allen's dark comedy and is mesmerized by classical music and its macho side is tickled by cinema noir. And if Vahid can create extremely energetic layers of red while working under the ugliest and most lifeless fluorescent light and if he can create the most beautiful imaginary forest on a canvas in the corner of the most depressing rooms, he is definitely a madman who can present any viewer the deepest and most impalpable piece of his or her dream.