Mehdi Saeedi studied graphic design at the Malek-Ashtar University in Tehran, and continued his studies at the University of Cambridge, where he graduated in Art and Design. Afterwards, he worked as the creative director of Asre-e-Jadid advertising agency, until he established his own graphic studio in 1998. His client list includes some of the most prominent cultural (such as Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Academy of Art) and music centres in Iran, as well as clients from the film industry. He has participated in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad, and received many awards for his work.
In his work, he mixes tradition with modern expression, which makes it recognizable. His creations are characterized by minimalism, refined and stylized forms, and a mix of different calligraphic patterns (inspired by the rich tradition of his country), which make the whole look luxurious and rich.
During his residency, he exhibited his posters in the Vetrinj mansion, and held a lecutre on design and caligraphy, where he got the chance for a more detailed presentation of his work.
Considering his cultural background, intercultural exchange was an important aspect of his residency in Maribor. On one hand, this enables the exchange of views and opinions (on both artistic and social level), and on the other hand, it offers new sources of inspiration, opens up new possibilities, and contributes to a more holitistic view of the world.
The result of his residency was a black and white poster named Peace, depicting a stylized image of a dove with the snake’s tail. The choice of the poster’s colour scheme (or lack thereof) emphasizes the sharpness of its message, which is further reinforced by the depiction of a recognizable symbol. The symbolism is then broken by the bird’s snake tail, which introduces a new semantic level, and expands the possibilities of interpretation. The artist further stresses the distinction between one pole and the other with patterns that mark the body of this unusual creature, and are also the artist’s signature.
»My trip to Maribor was full of beautiful, unforgettable moments. As an artist, I managed to connect to the city and its atmosphere. The month I spent here was an opportunity I’ve wanted for a long time. The city is full of beautiful views, and it has a calm energy, which enabled me to stay deeply concentrated on my project. I hope to return to Maribor in the future. «
Text: Maja Pardeilhan