By: Behdad Najafi
How would you describe the current state of the Iranian art scene, both inside and also outside of our borders? What are the opportunities and challenges? What are the new trends and developments?
Generally, art and all the activities and businesses relating to art are flourishing in Iran. This growth trend within our social environment is driven by two factors. One is the popularity of art as a profession among people, especially the young generation. And the second factor is the germane art market with its remarkably increasing demand for art and artworks as an important component of the daily lifestyle in Iran. The number of art galleries, art institutes and schools, and private studios are multiplying every day and meanwhile we are looking at a market with a growing number of exhibitions, auctions, art expos and other art-related events all around the country. A growing market in such an environment has its own pros and cons in all the categories of goods and services. On one side the demand will increase, and on the other side the competition will intensify among suppliers.
This is exactly what is happening to the art market in Iran at the present time. In my opinion, artists who want to be successful in this growing market should focus on creativity in their production and on personal branding for their marketing communication. They should also have a serious look at our economy and management methods as the basis of their art business strategy, and furthermore, consider the guidance of expert consultants in this field a necessity. I would also like to add that the global demand for the artworks of Iranian artists is quite gratifying, and many of our artists have a strong presence in international exhibitions and are successfully selling their artworks in those markets through different sales channels.
What can you tell us about the commercial/business side of Art?
I believe that general rules of economy, management and business are the same in the commercial side of any activity in all the sectors and therefore they are applicable in the business side of art too. An artist should consider his artwork as a product or service which of course has its unique and exclusive characteristics. As a result, when a piece of art is going to be presented to the market through an exhibition, auction, art expo, in the artist’s studio, or even by online means all the business rules and economic equilibriums like supply and demand, marketing and communication planning and such should be employed and benefited from in developing art business strategies and plans to move forward accordingly.
Tell us about your partnership/collaboration with Ragadid. What experiences can visitors expect when walking into Ragadid?
I am both a creator and curator which means I create artworks, as well as plan and hold exhibitions. My main art field is painting and after that, photography and installation art. I have always participated with my own artwork in exhibitions I have myself curated and managed, and I also actively take part in many group exhibitions and events held in other galleries and venues. Professionally and officially, I am the director of Ragadid art gallery and plan and manage the exhibitions and art events with my team of experts. Ragadid is one of the largest and most advanced art gallery spaces with a special multi-segmented structure that provides us with many options and solutions when holding exhibitions and events.
It can actually be described as a galleria with 3 different galleries and a main lobby. It also benefits from a venue with 104 seats which is suitable for auctions, seminars, conferences, and other events. I think visitors will have an unforgettable and unique experience of all the exhibitions held in Ragadid due to size and structure of the gallery, number of the artworks and the service we provide. One of the unique points of Ragadid gallery which is also supposed to be its core competency is the visiting days and hours which are 7 days a week from 8 am to 8 pm. Ragadid is never closed, and the timetable of the exhibitions will always offer visitors many artworks on show. What’s next for Ragadid, such as art fairs, events and so on? Our next event is an exhibition of paintings and sculptures called “Sheida Nebesht” which technically means “Enchanted Chirography”.
The exhibition is mainly a showcase of Calligraphy with a deep look at the usage of handwritten lettering, text and scripts in Iranian visual art scene. This event will be followed by a series of exhibitions (group & solo) in different fields, with a special look at contemporary art forms like installation, video & digital art, auctions and expos, workshops and any other activities which are demanded by the art market and which also helps promote art and artists in our society. ur next event is an exhibition of paintings and sculptures called “Sheida Nebesht” which technically means “Enchanted Chirography”. The exhibition is mainly a showcase of Calligraphy with a deep look at the usage of handwritten lettering, text and scripts in Iranian visual art scene. This event will be followed by a series of exhibitions (group & solo) in different fields, with a special look at contemporary art forms like installation, video & digital art, auctions and expos, workshops and any other activities which are demanded by the art market and which also helps promote art and artists in our society.