Mostafa Majidi was born in 1981 in Babol, Mazandaran Province, Iran. He started poetry at age 10 and began sculpting at age 25. At the age of 30, he began painting, and he saw himself behind the camera at the age of 35. His poetry book was published in 2003, with prepositions written by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Fernando Arrabal, Hedwig Gorski, Mostafa Malekian, Houra Yavari, Baha-e-din Khoramshahi, Akbar Eksir, and others.
Here is a review of Majidi’s sculptures by James Elkins:
Mostafa Majidi’s Sculptures are exceptionally good. His bony forms are sad, emotional, happy, smart, and shrewd, and modelled by an unusual degree of visual skill and intelligence. There are many visual sculptures that try to be as innovative as Majidi’s works, but few of them are as successful as his. Regarding the history of art, Majidi’s work is based on the first generation of French and German surrealism during the 1920s and 1930s. The surrealists were the first ones (except for the masters who used body components, such as Frederick Royce) who created sculptures from the bones. Surrealists were also the first to mix witticism with pain. Amongst other sculptures, Alberto Giacometti's first compositions are closer to Majidi’s works. Giacometti, like Majidi, has adorned scenes in which strange shapes sitting on windows, moving, rolling, dancing and walking would be observed, sometimes in other shapes and abnormal perspective. Majidi’s sculptures like Giacometti's are full of wit and joy. Giacometti plays with the previous academic traditions, ones in which there are thoughtful figures sitting individually, doubly or in a group.
Giacometti transforms these sorts of academic and moral compositions into strange, enthusiastic, and jumbled formations. It does not seem that the Giacometti has made bony sculptures but close to it, his famous work, Woman with her Throat Cut, was made based on skeletal bones. Majidi’s works also have completely new elements. The bones that are used by him are not white and clean, so they look both unhealthy and old (precious). A few sculptors allow bones to remain intact and unclean. The Andy Goldsworthy famous sculpture of a whale has been built from the complete skeleton of a whale while all bones was cleaned and whitened.
There are also artists who use bones to create imaginary animals or to refer to natural historical themes. An example of this is Mark Dean and Christy Rupp that make extinct birds from real bones. The third artist is Shen Shaomin, who makes fantastic monsters using real bones. The works of these artists are all limited to references to natural history, but Majidi’s work is free and poetic.
There are artists who use bones to create decorative symbols or patterns. This is done in “curiosity boxes” in which the bones are sometimes arranged in geometric patterns.
Another example is the catacombs (undergrounds full of bones of the dead bodies), such as the Catacombs of Paris.
Among contemporary artists, Francois Robert arranges bones in the form of broken crosses or guns. Once again, Majidi avoids the limitations of such practices in his work.
“Majidi’s works are, in my opinion, a vibrant and progressive innovation and they are by no means imitations”, Elkins said.
School of Art Institute, Chicago, United State of America.
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