Navid Azimi Sajadi, b. 1982, Tehran, Iran.
Lives and works in Rome, Italy.
Navid received his MFA in multimedia sculpture from Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma in 2013. Navid’s artistic practice reflects his experience in between two cultures and deals with cross-cultural codes. He tries to manipulate and play constantly at what images, the forms and the memories mean and how they work, creating a metaphorical ambient where viewers can attach a wide array of significance to indicators of time and spaces. In a simple description it is a visual glimpse of a crossroad where present day events meet history and mythology. His work relies on the interconnection of elements and symbols that arise from the unity of different cultures and traditions. What Navid achieves through this is the potential to create a possible paradigm of cultural flows of human migration and, ultimately, an expression of the constant movement of thoughts in the places and times of great ancient civilizations. The juxtaposition of these elements in a specific format decontextualizes them from their eminence to acquire new pictorial identities.
Navid’s work has been seen and exhibited at a number of art institutions around the world such as Getty Center collection, Los Angeles; Williamson Gallery – Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles; Foundry-Dubai; MACRO Museum, Rome; Pejman Foundation, Tehran; Drawing Room, Madrid; the 9th Shanghai Biennale; Artist Statement: 아티스트스테이트먼트 at the Cica Museum International Art Contest in Gimpo, South Korea; Maraya Art Center, Sharjah; Palazzo Bevilacqua Ariosti, Bologna; Freies Museum, Berlin and Museo Carlo Bilotti, Roma.
Navid has been awarded several art prizes including the Premio Viero Per Arte Contemporanea in Lucca, Italy (2019); Risilienza, Officina Ars, Villa Sistemi Reggiana, Reggio Emilia (2018); the Premio Combat 9th edition, Museo G.Fattori in Livorno, Italy (2018); MOPCAP shortlisted artist, Dubai (2011), and Imprendi l Arte: Amedeo Modigliani Foundation Prize 1 Edizione in Rome, Italy (2009).
My work reflects my experience in between two cultures, dealing with cross cultural codes. I try to manipulate and play constantly at what images, the forms and the memories mean and how they work, creating a metaphorical ambient where viewers can attach a wide array of significance to indicators of time and spaces. In a simple description a visual glimpse of a crossroad where present day events meet history and mythology.
In my work, I use different media, including photography, drawings, and installation that often take shape with a minimal aesthetic and symbolic language. In my studio practices, I experiment with different materials to give different significance to my work. The main body of my work is normally formed through these practices where the choice of material for each subject becomes a part of the identity of the subject itself. The elements I choose come from materials like handmade paper, felt, wood, enamel, resin, and natural materials. I also use objects or images (which have had a special historical and cultural meaning) that I have collected and amassed during the years I lived in Iran and Europe.
Ideally, I find myself looking for parallels between cultures, exploring the concept of diversity (cultural, religious or sexual) and combining the heritage of the Middle Eastern, Persian and the Western world. By blending materials I feel that I am blending and combining the Persian esoteric literature , religious & mythological references, from the ancient world to our present time, with its tensions, traumas, fears inherent in our contemporary society, and digesting it to create a the metaphorical visual space. My hope is to create an aesthetic language using various cultural and visual references with one or more meanings in different cultures, and to compose a visual maze that leaves the free interpretation to the observer.
The union of my ideal process and my studio practice, it leads me to create a pantheon of objects and images, these images point to a more layered, carnivalesque reading of the two traditions, traditional/ancient and contemporary culture, but in emphasizing the delicate fictional underpinning in these images, they come closer to representing “reality” than what is shown in most news media. In my works the juxtaposition and interaction of material power, spiritual power, and the unavoidable historically repeated consequence of this conjunction create a multi-layered space which underlies a state of contradiction and exposure of violence. The synthesis of seemingly opposing ideological and aesthetic agendas and signifiers – politics and poetics, the mythological and the historical, the conceptual and the baroque, shape shiftings & holy stiffness, harmony and destruction, and the resurrection of eternal shadows and gods and idols of orient and occident contribute to a kind of convoluted narrative. This polyphonic visual language reveals the ways in which these often contradictory notions and relationships shape the contemporary worlds.