B. 1963, Iran
Mehrdad Rashidi grew up in Northern Iran but fled the country at the age of twenty due to his strongly held political views, and settled in Germany. In 2006 he began to draw. He found that it made him think of his homeland and his childhood. Using old notebooks, envelopes, shopping receipts and discarded advertising pamphlets, he gradually, in what seems to have been a compulsive surge of creativity, began to produce an extraordinary and haunting body of work. This outpouring has continued unabated. In 2013, Rashidi was awarded the prestigious Grand Prix for Marginal Art at the 16th Biennial of Naïve & Marginal Art in Belgrade.
In 2016 a retrospective show of his work Drawing as a Prayer was held at the Museum of Naive & Marginal Art, where over 120 drawings were displayed, and a major catalogue produced to accompany the exhibition. His work is can be found in museum collections worldwide, including the Collection de l’Art Brut (Lausanne), the American Folk Art Museum (New York), and The Museum of Everything (London).