Corner 23: Keiman Mahabadi

Cozy Corner with Hossein Nasiri: Unveiling the Creative Journey of Keiman Mahabadi

In the latest episode of “Cozy Corner with Hossein Nasiri,” a video podcast that delves into the intricacies of creativity, we had the pleasure of hosting Keiman Mahabadi, a prolific artist in the Iranian visual arts scene. This episode offered a profound exploration of Keiman’s artistic journey, creative process, and the personal growth he has experienced through his work. The insights shared by Keiman, coupled with the broader themes discussed in previous episodes, paint a vivid picture of the artistic endeavor as both a deeply personal and universally resonant pursuit.The Genesis of an ArtistKeiman Mahabadi’s journey into the world of art began in art school, where he discovered his passion for painting. Over the years, his dedication to his craft has seen him exhibit his works in five solo shows and over thirty group exhibitions, both domestically and internationally. His educational background, with a master’s degree in painting from the University of Science and Culture and a bachelor’s degree in puppetry theater from the University of Tehran, has provided a solid foundation for his artistic pursuits.Solo Exhibitions: A Chronicle of EvolutionKeiman’s solo exhibitions are a testament to his evolving artistic vision. His recent show, “I Sometimes Catch Myself Thinking About the Past” at O Gallery (2024), reflects a contemplative exploration of memory and time. Previous exhibitions such as “For Your Eyes Only” at Bavan Gallery (2021) and “Torna” at Bavan Gallery (2020) showcase his ability to weave personal narratives with broader existential themes. Each exhibition marks a distinct phase in his artistic evolution, from “Possible Past” at Mohsen Gallery (2016) to “Scattered Memories” at Studio No.8 (2011), each reflecting his journey through different artistic styles and thematic preoccupations.Collaborative Endeavors and Group ExhibitionsKeiman’s participation in numerous group exhibitions highlights his collaborative spirit and the diversity of his artistic engagements. His works have been featured in notable exhibitions like “In Search of Wild Orchids” at Nian Gallery (2024) and “Gathering” at Amanatdari (2024), among many others. These group exhibitions not only broaden his artistic horizons but also allow him to engage with the artistic community, fostering a sense of collective creativity.Curatorial Projects and Online PlatformsBeyond his work as a painter, Keiman has also made significant contributions as a curator and art director. His curatorial projects, such as “An Everchanging View” for ArtUnity (2023) and “Epiphany: First Station” at Bavan Gallery (2022), showcase his ability to curate compelling artistic narratives. His involvement with online visual arts platforms like Darz and Artunity since 2018 underscores his adaptability and willingness to embrace new mediums and technologies to share and promote art.Mountains: A New Artistic FocusSince spring 2023, Keiman has embarked on a new series of paintings and drawings centered around mountains. These works depict mountains as symbols of accumulated individual and social longings, a theme that resonates deeply with his introspective and narrative-driven approach to art. This new direction in his work highlights his continuous exploration of new themes and his commitment to evolving as an artist.The Symphony of CreativityKeiman’s creative journey can be likened to a symphony orchestra, where each phase of his career represents a unique instrument contributing to the harmonious composition of his artistic expression. This analogy resonates with the broader themes discussed in previous episodes of “Cozy Corner,” where various artists have emphasized the importance of finding inspiration in chaos, maintaining a well-organized workspace, and balancing planning with spontaneity.Inspiration in ChaosOne of the recurring themes in these discussions is the idea of finding inspiration in chaotic moments. Artists, including Keiman, often draw creative fuel from the turbulence of life, transforming personal and social upheavals into profound artistic expressions. This ability to find beauty and meaning in chaos is a hallmark of creative resilience and adaptability.The Importance of a Cozy WorkspaceCreating a conducive workspace is essential for nurturing creativity. For Keiman, and many other artists, a cozy and organized studio provides a sanctuary where ideas can flourish. The simple act of sweeping the studio floor or arranging art supplies can serve as a meditative ritual, setting the stage for creative breakthroughs.Balancing Planning and SpontaneityThe balance between structure and spontaneity is crucial in the creative process. Keiman’s approach to planning his exhibitions and curatorial projects reflects a strategic mindset, while his willingness to explore new themes and mediums demonstrates a flexible and spontaneous spirit. This balance allows for innovative outcomes and keeps the artistic process dynamic and engaging.Embracing Positive ChangesPositive changes and personal growth are catalysts for creative passion. Keiman’s transition between different artistic styles, from figurative to abstract art, mirrors his personal evolution. This fluidity in his artistic practice allows him to remain open to new ideas and inspirations, fostering a continuous cycle of growth and innovation.Short-Term Goals and Organic DevelopmentFocusing on short-term goals rather than rigid long-term plans enables artists to stay adaptable and responsive to new opportunities. Keiman’s career is a testament to the value of allowing ideas to develop organically, embracing the unexpected twists and turns that come with the creative journey.Internal Emotions and ExperiencesDrawing inspiration from internal emotions and experiences adds depth and authenticity to artistic work. Keiman’s paintings, particularly his recent focus on mountains, reflect his introspective exploration of personal and collective longings. This connection to his inner world imbues his work with a powerful emotional resonance.The Role of Music in CreativityMusic often plays a significant role in the creative process, providing a rhythmic backdrop that can influence the flow of artistic work. Keiman, like many artists, finds inspiration in music, which helps to set the tone and mood for his creative sessions.Building Relationships and CollaborationsStrong relationships and collaborations enrich the artistic journey. Keiman’s involvement in group exhibitions and curatorial projects highlights the importance of community support and collective creativity. These interactions not only expand his artistic network but also inspire new ideas and perspectives.Insights from the InterviewIn his conversation with Hossein Nasiri, Keiman shared valuable insights into his daily routine and creative process. He described how he begins his day by heading to his studio space and diving straight into his work. This discipline helps him achieve what he considers a “successful output” – a piece of art that resonates with him personally.Keiman also spoke about his impatience and preference for completing paintings in one session. This approach contrasts with the more prolonged and iterative processes some artists prefer, highlighting the diversity of creative methods. He humorously mentioned the existence of an archipelago called Keiman in Central America, showcasing his lighthearted side and ability to find joy in unexpected trivia.One poignant moment in the interview was Keiman’s reflection on his role as a curator and art director. He emphasized the importance of patience and attention to detail, qualities that he sometimes struggles with in his painting practice. This dichotomy between his curatorial and artistic roles adds a fascinating layer to his professional identity, demonstrating how different facets of creativity can coexist and inform one another.Conclusion: The Ever-Evolving Artistic JourneyKeiman Mahabadi’s artistic journey, as explored in this episode of “Cozy Corner,” exemplifies the themes of personal growth, adaptability, and the harmonious blend of planning and spontaneity. His work, both as an artist and curator, reflects a deep engagement with his inner world and the broader artistic community. This episode, along with the broader insights shared by various artists on the podcast, underscores the transformative power of art and creativity in navigating life’s complexities and embracing positive change.Through “Cozy Corner with Hossein Nasiri,” we continue to explore the diverse and inspiring journeys of Persian creative minds, celebrating their contributions to the symphony of creativity and self-expression. Each episode offers valuable lessons and insights, encouraging listeners and viewers to find their own creative paths and embrace the beauty of the artistic journey.

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