Mahmoud Meraji


Artist Statement

My newest studies edge Surrealism and Semi-Abstract. I illuminated time with the inclusion of space using different forms. Perhaps the first few times a viewer contemplates these shapes they feel as if there is a deep underlying philosophy or story in the canvas; this is not the case. In the same way historical movements are contextual in the society they occurred, my work offers a contextual shadow of my past history.

These forms shape the viewer, and the viewer’s eye can shape the form. They aspire to meaning through meaninglessness, this seems like a contradiction but it is not, for it is the viewer that will attribute meaning to the shapes. In other words, each viewer will independently perceive a mysterious story that only he/she can figure out the more he/she contemplates the canvas. Therein lies the truth, that the shapes have done their jobs and got the viewer thinking, contemplating on what could be, and not simply what is in front of their eyes.

The color-tones create a contrast in this style of thinking; can we rotate the canvas or even hang it upside-down without losing the original panache? Why do these color-tones seem to focus on a particular point, drawing the eye to only one segment of the whole figure? Is this cohesion random, and if so, how and when does it occur?

It is as if the forms echo a negotiation between background and foreground. The background serves as the past with a foundation, assisting the young foreground in its endeavor with the viewer. My inspiration for this duality is my classical training that serves as the foundation for my works viz. the background, with my newer works and my life at the present time viz. the foreground.

How do we characterize this cohesion? This dispelling unity of the background and foreground. Why is it when certain shapes are placed in certain places they surprise us? Why do we enjoy seeing a light contrast through a slither of a darker color-tone? Random strokes of a brush? Is there a ghost living in the canvas? One that guides everything into a singularity? This thing, we will be grand in calling an energy or should we dare, a soul of a study. If we call this the soul, is that then not the ultimate goal for every human being on the planet? Whether there is an immortal soul, and if there is, who has one and how do they use it? The soul then, must be the ultimate goal.

To instigate contemplation on these matters of the soul though time and infinite forms within these spaces is the ultimate goal of these studies and all my works.

~ Mahmoud Meraji


View Mahmoud Meraji's CV
Work Experience

  • 1997 – Now Painter, Art Teacher, Toronto
  • 1977 – 1997 Painter, Art Teacher, Tehran

Group Exhibitions

  • 2014 – Summer Salon, Yumart, Toronto
  • 2012 – From that Cup, Six weeks of Iranian Art, Queen Gallery, Toronto
  • 2011 – Figurative Show; OCAD University, Toronto
  • 2010 – The Kingston Prize, Kingston
  • 2009 – Figuration; Headbones Gallery, Toronto
  • 2009 – Ab strack’tid, Headbones Gallery, Toronto
  • 2009 – The Canadian Portrait: Today and Tomorrow Toronto
  • 2008 – International Arts Festival; Miracle of the Portrait Toronto
  • 2008 – Varley Gallery of Markham; Buddha Composed (collaboration), Markham
  • 2008 – Harbourfront centre; Tiregan, Iranian Festival, Toronto
  • 2007 – Iranian artists’ cultural reunion, Six weeks of Iranian Art, Toronto
  • 2007 – Iranian artists’ cultural reunion, Six weeks of Iranian Art, Toronto
  • 2007 – Varley Gallery of Markham, Canadian Artists without Boarder, Markham
  • 2007 – Ethnic Convergence Headbones Gallery, Toronto
  • 2006 – Headbones Galley (Iran, Iran, I ran with Bogos) Toronto
  • 2006 – Under the Azure Dome – Persian Festival at Harbourfront
  • 2005 – John B. Aird Gallery, Toronto, ON
  • 2004 – ‘Metamorphosis’ , Scarborough Art Council, Toronto
  • 2004 – Arta Gallery, Toronto, ON.
  • 2003 – Drawing 2003 , John B. Arid Gallery, Toronto
  • 2002 – Luminary Art Gallery, Toronto
  • 2002 – ‘Annual Juried Show’ , Scarborough Art Council, Toronto
  • 2001 – ‘A Celebration of the Arts’ , Toronto
  • 2001 – ‘Art at the heart’ , Arts week, Toronto
  • 2001 – ‘Odyssey’ , Scarborough Art Council, Toronto
  • 1998 – ‘Transition: Changing States’ , Scarborough Art Council, Toronto
  • 1995 – ‘The Third Iranian painting Biannual’ , Tehran, Iran
  • 1995 – Golestan Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran
  • 1993 – ‘Fair of Flowers and Nature’ , Tehran, Iran
  • 1993 – ‘The Second Iranian Painting Biannual’ , Tehran, Iran
  • 1991 – ‘The First Iranian Painting Biannual’ , Tehran, Iran
  • 1988 – City Theater, Tehran, Iran
  • 1986 – ‘Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts’ , Tehran, Iran
  • 1986 – One – Man Shows (Solo)
  • 1997 – vMystic Iranian Curves, Six weeks of Iranian Art
  • 1997 – The Iranian Community Association of Ontario
  • 1997 – Arya Art Gallery
  • 1996 – Arya Art Gallery
  • 1993 – Golestan Art Gallery
  • 1991 – Golestan Art Gallery
  • 1985 – Niyavaran Cultural Centre, Tehran


  • 2011 – Best of Worldwide Portrait and Figurative, USA
  • 2009 – Figuration; Headbones Gallery, Toronto
  • 2009 – Ab strack’tid, Headbones Gallery, Toronto
  • 2007 – Ethnic Convergence Headbones Gallery, Toronto
  • 2000 – Multicultural Calendar, Skills for Change, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1997 – Now Shahrvand Publication-The Largest Persian Publication in North America
  • 1997 – SUITCASE: A Journal of Transcultural Traffic” Volume two UCLA Program in Comparative Literature Los Angeles, CA


  • 2011 – People Choice Award; Figurative Show; OCAD University, Toronto
  • 2010 – Headbones Artist Choice Prize, Toronto
  • 2008 – Grand prize 2008 International Arts Festival- Miracle of the Portrait, Toronto
  • 2008 – Art/ Humanities National Ethnic Press & Media Council of Canada, Toronto
  • 2002 – Honourable mention Award, Scarborough Art Council, Toronto
  • 2001 – Honourable mention Award, Art at the heart, Toronto, Ontario
  • 1993 – First Prize: Iranian Fair of Flowers & Nature, Tehran, Iran
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