Artist, philosopher, dreamer, and auto repairman, Mahmood Rezaei-Kamalabad is also a genuinely happy guy. If he’s not speaking to a philosophy class at the University of Massachusetts Boston, visiting an art show, or driving a taxi, you are likely to find him at Aladdin Auto, his art gallery and auto repair shop behind the Apple Cinemas in Cambridge. Visitors seeking auto repairs or spiritual advice are likely to be served tea and fruit or whatever small gifts his fans have brought him.
Mahmood’s artwork includes giant steel sculptures with iconography from many religions, with a theme of unity. The huge pipe outside is an unfinished piece. He went to a construction site to ask for a piece of the pipe because, he told the workers, he wants to be buried in it, standing up, with his tools around his feet, ready to do God’s work when asked. They laughed. Weeks later, they showed up with the pipe — and were most likely served tea.