Friday, February 6, 2009

Once Upon a Tile

The tiles created by Iranian-American artist Jafar Mogadam are exploding fractals of color, gigantic puzzles of competing symbols and forms drawing on artistic traditions from around the globe.

But compared to their creator, his works border on the staid.

Mogadam is a hybrid of Iowa and Iran. He wears a trucker’s cap. He listens to mystical Sufi music. Together with his wife Lynne, he restores prairie on their Riverside, Iowa farm. But he spends most of his time painting tiny worlds of geometric shapes and lines, meticulous Persian and Islamic designs on tiles, sometimes taking half a year to complete one work.

Mogadam will be speaking about his work at a free event at the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art on February 28.

There are few artists working in Iowa that would compel me to drive an hour to see them in person, but Mogadam is one of them. Don't miss seeing this little firecracker of a man. You can see a slideshow I created a few years ago of him and his art here.

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