Mohammad Hadi Fadavi with his Dervish painting
Mitra invited us to an art opening of a friend's exhibition. The gallery was in the North in one of the wealthier parts of town. It was a nice space in the downstairs of a house which had been tiled and had raised platforms around the edges for exhibitions. The paintings were mostly canvases hanging from leather and wood bars decorated with carvings of some of the subjects of the paintings. The paintings themselves were figures made up of repeated shapes-- mostly fish-- which were themselves made up of dots.
The colors were warm and deep subtle reds, yellows, browns, and turquoises which were used to create spots of lights. The subjects were deer, fish, and birds from folkloric motives. There were also plant and flower motives merging with the animals. The over all result was one of peaceful beauty and unity of subjects and individual parts that made them up.
Bird and Deer
Later we talked with the artist, Mohammad Hadi Fadavi. He said the deer, birds, and fish were from Persian ceramics. He used fish frequently because they were a symbol of peace and love. He also said they were a symbol of plenty-- from the bible story of fishes and loaves. This was suitable because a percentage of the price went to benefit the UN World Food Program.
Admiring Fadavi's work
The birds when together had beaks closed as a symbol of peace but when they were apart, had beaks open screaming for unity. He pointed out the pairs of deer were painted so neither dominated the other but rather they merged as equal, united. He explained all his paintings were about love and unity. One fish painting merged into a shape of a whirling dervish. He also pointed out the flower motive he used as being a lotus because of the significance in Persian and Indian art as well as Buddhism. There was also a tree which he used Sarv (Cedar) because Persian poets often referred to it.