Shahriar Mazandi Painter and Photographer


About the Paintings

The Cityscapes

Between ‘Emerald City’ 1985 and the next cityscape is a gap of greater than three decades. A return by the artist to painting occurred after agreement to a commission in 2018 upon sight of ‘Emerald City’. Cityscape No.3 was the result. This work resides in a private collection in the UK. Cityscape No.1 was completed in 1984. ‘Golden Dawn’ is the fourth cityscape in this series.

‘Golden Dawn’ 2019 – 5’W x 4’H (excluding frame) – oil on canvas

Inspired by the same thematic elements in ‘The Emerald City’, this work has the same corkscrew lighting where shadows move from building to building in an anti-clockwise direction, with the dawn light fading upon buildings at the margins. 

‘Tesseract I’ 2019 – 5’W x 4’H (excluding frame) – oil on canvas

The colours are in part inspired by John Martin’s ‘The Great Day of His Wrath’ 1851- 3 (Tate Britain). There is a heaven and hell analogy to this work. The glistening blue around the edges of the buildings transforms them into something beyond what is, prima facie, visual. See below for further definition of tesseract.  

The exaggerated change of colour of the rooftops – akin to a giant clock.

‘Tesseract II’ 2019 – 4’W x 6’H (excluding frame) – oil on canvas 

Convention in dimensionality is not followed in this work. The tops of the buildings to not adhere to curvature but are flat. The lighting does not follow convention with ambiguity as to whether the buildings are lit from within or shaded by an external source. Some of the buildings have sky as their rooftops, again, referencing access to other unseen realms. The edges of some buildings are less well defined, as if solidity itself may be an illusory lattice. 

‘The Two Brothers’ 5’H x 4’W (excluding frame) – oil on canvas

This work represents a hierophany; an apocalypse – apocalytos in Greek, meaning a revealing – a revelation – from the Book of Revelation. It pays tribute to the victims of that day and that what happened must never be forgotten. 

But the work also signifies the ontology of the event in that, according to prophecy, it heralded the introduction of a new Biblical day (19 years). The world was changed for ever after this event.   

‘The Winds of War’ 2022 – 6’H x 4’W

Continues the themes in ‘The Two Brothers’

Works that merge to a pinpoint represent convergence to an absolute centre – a fixed point of reference, comparable to a founding of the world. 

As such, the pinpoint is an Axis Mundi – like a totem pole with connection to the realms above and below. 

References to 9/11 speak of a break in this connection. They are visual Aesop’s fables, advising viewers not to lose sight of their own foundational reference points – specifically, not to disconnect from the Divine in times of darkness. 

The luminous blue edges explore time-space and the illusory nature of this realm. The rectangular forms can be interpreted as buildings, or, elemental blocks. 

These works are not representative of but hint at other-worldly cuboidal tesseracts. A tesseract is a four dimensional analogue of a cube or ‘hypercube’ that cannot be properly rendered in our three dimensional space, let alone on an ostensibly two dimensional canvas. 

Their surfaces are as tesseract hyper-surfaces. They are painted in colours that may appear luminescent with lighting that’s ambiguous, insofar as it is left to interpretation as to whether they are lit from without or within. The viewer’s journey into the tesseract paintings is thus also one as time and dimensional traveller.

© 2024 Shahriar Mazandi Painter and Photographer

Theme by Anders Norén