What the press says

Memories of childhood in Iran

> ... Strolling around the factory building, regarding the colourful > paintings, one almost feels like being in the centre of a bazaar: > Materials > comprising all imaginable colours and patterns are recurrent styles in > the > artist’s paintings. He gives life to clothes by making their fibres and > drapery visible - you are nearly under the impression that you could > touch, > even feel the materials ... But his paintings are more than mere > reproductions of personal experiences: they have a political > dimension. In > his acrylic painting "Zorn der Ungerechtigkeit" (~ "Anger of > injustice") the > artist expresses rage and disappointment over the Iraq-war. His > painting > called "Karrierefrau" (~ "Career Woman") shows the modern business > woman. > She is veiled and carries a portfolio: The woman is trapped between two > cultures

Münstersche Zeitung, 20. Mai 2003


Last respects to the "Kartoffelschälerei" (potato peeling factory)

>... On the painter’s canvas, clothes are suitably used to describe > personalities. Hard, rigid pleats represent "The immature, mean old > Lady > from next door", who withdraws to her corner to sulk. Completely > different: > the corps in "Kereschmeh-coquetery". Here, the velvet cover reveals > what > could lie underneath, instead of hiding it. The cloth in "Tag-Tscheh" > looks > so real, you feel tempted to grab it, before it can glide down the > wall it > drapes. And in the bottle right next to it? ... Could that be red > wine? But > the label itself is a surprise ... > > >

Westfälische Nachrichten, 17. Mai 2003



Art as means against hatred and radicalism

> ... Following the hunt for fellow citizens from Black Africa, which > took > place several weeks ago, some artists from Münster joined together to > make > preparations for the exhibition in the community centre. A > "Deutschmark"- > Coin clamped into a vice: With his painting Mahmoud Torabi (Taraneh) > intends > to reveal the German’s fear of the "unknown", the fear of the Euro ... > >

Münstersche Zeitung, 15. Sep 2000



Light and Darkness

… The painting "Return to darkness" shows a cycle: A woman sits on > black > ground - arms folded, sunk together, her head placed on her knees. > Then she > rises and wanders towards the light. This last of sixteen pictures > finally > completes the cycle: The woman returns to the darkness. "All creatures > require light, even if an excessive use of light could have negative > consequences", as warns Mahmoud Torabi … >

Münstersche Zeitung, 14. Okt 1996



Persian sign in the darkness

> > ... Sixteen paintings in acryl he accomplished for this purpose - and > all of > them resemble each other. No wonder, for Torabi describes a cycle: The > way > of a young woman into the light and back into the darkness. All sixteen > pictures consist of the same subjects: a black and a white wall, which > are > continually shifting; a female nude, Persian letters, and lastly a > splotch > in bright orange (placed in the left corner of the painting) that > adopts the > colour of the decorative letters. The serie’s effect derives from its > clear > symbolism that captures the eye. Torabi explains it voluntarily. > "Everyday > we have positive experiences: doors are opened for us and we get a > chance. > It depends on us, what we make of it” ... >

Westfälische Nachrichten, 7. Sep. 1996



The artist`s blood in a painting

>... One is captivated by the painting’s strong colours, which capture > the > observer’s imagination. Of one of the paintings just the back page is > shown: > Only those who can give proof of having donated a larger sum to the > aids-centre are allowed to have a look at this picture’s front. The > highest > amount of money makes the donor the picture’s owner. It should further > be > mentioned, that the artist has used his own blood in the painting … >

Bergsträßer Anzeiger, 8. Jan. 1996



A mixture of fairytale and painting

> … By cautiously combining fairytales, pictures and wisdom on Sunday > evening > the artist Mahmoud Torabi managed to enchant his listeners and take > them > away into a world of magic momentarily. After the French saying “You > like > each other - you love - you separate” Dr. Torabi developed a triptych, > which > is now being exposed at the “Obina”. In front of a cubistic background > the > artist has depicted two stylized figures. It is remarkable that > “Taraneh” > (melody), as the artist wishes to be called, does not confine his work > to > the contrast between darkness and light, but also carefully portrays > reflections and shades … Torabi does not only work on a level of > visibility: > he wants his picture (painted in oils, acryl and pastel) to be > understood in > context with a fairytale, passages of which he read at the occasion of > his > exhibition: His story “The secret of Princess Balhes’ treasure vault”, > thus > titled by the writing painter, has a critical look at a dangerous > phenomena > called love … > > (Kirsten Meyer) > >

Münstersche Zeitung, 14. Mär 1995


Living together

> … On Sunday the 19th of September, at the small bridge that leads to > the > zoo, when the sun was shining brightly, the inauguration of the > sculpture > „Living together” took place. This statue is a symbol and a significant > memorial in times of increasing violence against our fellow citizens > from > other countries … > >

MS unabhängige Zeitung, 29. Sep 1993



A lonesome place of penance

> … We are dependent on such symbols to break the spell of indifference. > Otherwise we tend to return to everyday life pretty quickly after our > indignation at xenophobic attacks … >

Münstersche Zeitung, 20. Sep 1993



Tolerance in the centre of attention

> … There is another piece of art which can be interpreted as a “message > of > peace” (“Zusammenleben” ~ “Living together”). The iron cylinder, > measuring > six meters in height, symbolizes the harmonious cohabitation of > strangers > and Germans … > >

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 4. Jan. 1993



A painting against dictators

> … His pictures are also a rebellion against all those dictators cast > in the > same mould. Now, the 46 year old Iranian has put one of his works at > the > disposal of the “Brücke” (~ “Bridge”) – a meeting point for students > from > foreign countries. It is a painting which, in a very unconventional > way, > reveals his personal attitude towards the Khomeni-regime, that once > expelled > him from his country … In this picture, numerous separate subjects are > combined to form a whole philosophy of life … >

Münstersche Zeitung, 11. Jun 1985



End this war

> Appeal of the association of Iranian journalists (Münster): One of the > signatories of this appeal is Mahmoud Torabi - doctor, taxi-driver and > painter from Münster. At present, an exhibition of his works can be > seen in > the “Aladin”. Despite their use of bright colour Torabi’s pictures > often > seem melancholy, wistful and sad. They depict the situation of a person > living in exile, who suffers from the loss of his home-country, without > having lost his zest for life and his power of resistance … > >

Maulwurf, Nr. 6 1985



Against war Iran / Iraq

> Using an exhibition of pictures by the Persian painter Dr. Mahmoud > Torabi > from Münster, the association of Iranian journalists living in exile > intends > to draw the public’s attention to the war between Iran and Iraq, which > has > already lasted more than four years … >

Münstersche Zeitung, 16. Mai 1985