Mostafa Sarabi

Selected Works

With a poetic and metaphorical approach to painting, Mostafa Sarabi scrutinizes the conceptual dimensions of boundaries, territories, privacy, and security. The canvas of painting and the artist's living space intertwine, and the painter chooses how far the viewer is allowed to enter. The canvas provides the painter with the opportunity to exercise his audacity, and by creating symbolic boundaries, he measures the extent of human agency in confronting others, experiencing inclusion, and exclusion. Sarabi employs a simple and direct visual language to create mysterious landscapes and enhance the complexity of the identity of his paintings. He provides no indications of the identity or setting in his paintings to the viewer. He keeps the framing of his paintings as closed as possible, hiding the characters amid an abundance of bushes and solitary trees to prevent the identification of the referenced milieu in the painting. Sarabi's artistic mechanism unfolds as a visual tableau portraying two individuals positioned on opposing sides of a window – the characters within his paintings and the viewers of the same artwork. In this specific section, he deliberately eliminates poetic elements, refraining from metaphorical references to the painting as a window of discovery. There is no romantic gaze present in this stage of his painting. Instead, Sarabi alludes to a scenario where humans become observers, acknowledging a shift in their agency towards detachment. Sarabi questions a tranquility that can be taken away at any moment, a structure that appears to be both exceptionally stable and vulnerable, always on the brink of an incident. The security of life, emotional well-being, and personal space, which could be the greatest aspiration of humanity, can now be shattered in a bewildering gaze. He examines this very moment—a moment that is a delicate thread, constantly awaiting collapse.

Mostafa Sarabi (b. 1983, Kermanshah, Iran) lives and works in Tehran. He received an MA in Painting from Shahed University, Iran. He has presented solo exhibitions at Blanc International Contemporary Art (Beijing, 2022), The Island Club (Cyprus, 2021), Balice Hertling (Paris, 2022, 2020), the Delgosha Gallery (Tehran, 2023, 2020, 2018, 2017), and the Atashzad Gallery (Tehran, 2009). His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Palai Project (Lecce, 2023), Jammel Art Center (Dubai, 2023) 58th Carnegie International “Is it morning for you yet” (Pittsburgh, 2022), Passerelle Centre d’Art Contemporain (Brest, 2020), the Peres Projects Gallery (Berlin, 2020), the Giardino Segreto (Milan, 2019) among others.


Gallery exhibitions: