Modern lines
Mehrdad Ghanimifard's Plexiglas art

By Farzad Fadai
April 14, 2003
The Iranian

Despite the many differences in opinion, generally, art and Iranian artists don't receive the respect and recognition that they deserve. Minimal recognition usually comes a few hundred years after the artist's death by some western art historians.

Arguably, in Iranian culture, becoming an artist has been considered a pastime rather than a serious life time career. You certainly won't get praised as much as a dentist or an engineer, but rather looked down upon and asked: "So what do you want to do for a living?!?"

Speaking of "living", there are still many Iranian artists who are well established, known and praised by so many of us. They're scattered all around the world and their works are the reflection of feelings toward life and the challenges that are involved with it.

In this case, there is a particular Iranian artist whose talent is far above ordinary and his work has been "a clear piece of art" for many years now.

His ability to mould a piece of a Plexiglas into a work of art is well known and praised among industrial designers in Los Angeles, and he's known simply by the name of Mehrdad Ghanimifard.

Ghanimifard's industrial design work clearly blends a sound sense of aesthetics and practicality. His Plexiglas creations are wide ranging from custom-made tables and chairs to innovative visual display systems. Besides being clear and shapeable, Plexiglas resists sunlight and doesn't break readily like glass. His work demonstrates a true command of this versatile material >>> See images

All objects share the same qualities: modern lines, beauty and simplicity. Certain pieces are reminiscent of the playfulness found in the sculptures of Joan Miro and Picasso. Other pieces draw on organic shapes from nature such as ice formations and waterfalls. But the overriding fact is that Ghanimifard's creations are always a pleasure to look at - such a pleasure in fact, that many of his clients like to display his functional creations as stand alone works of art! (

I've been fortunate enough to have a few opportunities to get to know this talented artist and his work up close and personal. During my conversations with him on numerous occasions, it has become obvious that there is much more to Ghanimifard than his artistic talent. His artistic talent is merely a reflection of his sensitive nature as a man, a father and a son!

Ghanimifard was born in a family of seven on September 11, 1954, in Tehran. Being the youngest child with four older siblings, he grew up having tremendous opportunities to absorb many points of view in his family all of which shaped his personality accordingly.

"I got my motivation from my father and my patience from my mother. It's a deadly combination if you put it to work. It gets the best out of you," he said, sipping on a hot cup of tea.

"Is it true that you are also a chef and have been asked to cook for special occasions?" I asked.

"It's just a rumor," he answered, with a charming smile on his face. "Cooking relaxes me," he added.

He directed my attention to a few pictures on the wall and he said, "Those are my children, Cyrus, Joshua and Delaram. I'm very proud of them. They're my life."

Looking at his collection of photographs, I noticed a picture of his parents. Knowing that his father is a retired professor and was an air force pilot in Iran, I asked him: "Has your father been a positive influence on your art and life?"

Proudly, he explained: "My father's personal accomplishments, his courage, his personality and who he is as a person are good enough to give you all the motivation that you need in order to shake things around. He makes you want to be a better person."

"Your mother?" I asked.

"She's all love and patience. Not an academic individual, but naturally a smart woman," he replied.

At that moment I knew that I was standing in the presence of a decent multi-faceted human being. Not only is he one of the most talented craftsmen in his field, he's a preacher of love and laughter >>> See images

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