Born 1969, Tehran, Iran
Morteza Darehbaghi received his diploma from the Plastic Arts School, Tehran, in 1991 and went on to study at Azad University, where he received a BA Honours in fine art in 1995. To date, he has held twenty-two solo exhibitions including Etemad Gallery, Tehran, 2009; Niavaran Cultural Center, Tehran, 2007; Hermitage Gallery, Washington, DC, 2005; Rica Gallery, Stockholm, 2004; Golestan Gallery, Tehran, 2002; and Seyhoun Gallery, Tehran, 2004; and Majlis Gallery, Dubai, 2001, 2005 and 2007. Darehbaghi has also participated in group exhibitions in Iran, UAE, Italy, UK, and US. His awards include First Place at the Third Islam World Biennial, Tehran, 2004; Fourth Biennial of Painting, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 2004; First Place, First National Student Exhibition, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 1993; and the Second International Flower and Plant Exhibition, Tehran, 1993.
Darehbaghi's early work displays an engagement with nature and past traditions and civilizations, reflected in his use of fretwork, figures inspired by Persian painting and geometrical patterns. Tradition and symbols from religious rituals permeate Darehbaghi's paintings and are constant sources of inspiration for the artist: 'My childhood, along with sacred ceremonies, is responsible for my present creativity, which seeks a way to link the past to the future.'