January 20, 2017
Mohammadreza Mirzaei is passionate about photography and his photography generally possesses a self-reflective quality. Even so, his photographs come from different sources of inspiration. This approach may remind us of encyclopaedist authors such as James Joyce or Thomas Pynchon in that they whatever they knew, or read or experienced, they used it in their creative creations. Therefore in order to fully understand and appreciate Joyce, one must be familiar with Britain’s literary history in addition to certain details of the history of Ireland, the catholic religion and of course Dublin’s topology. Mirzaei’s photographs take on a new meaning in their references to his predecessors as well. He has continuously studied other photographers. In his world of photographs, he has praised even the style of amateur photographers and their errors. The sequence of his series is nonetheless similar to the mental imagery of a modern poem and the importance and impact of painting on his work cannot be ignored.
In “Again One More Time,” the artist’s second solo show at O Gallery, Mohammadreza Mirzaei focuses more on some of his favorite painters such as Terry Winters and Ad Reinhardt and in some cases goes even to the point of recreating their work. We are aware that creating paintings based on photography is not a new phenomenon but the reverse of this approach; the creation of photograph influenced by contemporary painting and painterly qualities, is a different story. By emphasizing on some of the most fundamental and simple characteristics of photography, such as frame, vantage point and the quality of light, Mirzaei starts his dialogue with painting and makes fragments of this world contextless and reaches a broader concept of abstraction. Here, the visual abstraction is not everything. Even when the subjects are figurative, something between curiosity and abstraction is recreated in his images and Mirzaei moves from this curious peculiarity to a potential meaning by juxtaposing his images. His photographs and their extent of subjectivity are similar to that of a strange land or intricate situations; images about seeing in a place where one cannot talk. Images that sometimes have a aesthetic approach to ugliness, force and of course restlessness.