unexpected surprise

I love graffiti. There's just something about the rawness of street art that instantly hooks me- whether it be the artistry which beautifies unexpected places, or a unique stencil which pops up multiple times in a city, or around the world. The search for good street art and street artists is a passion of mine, a treasure hunt of sorts, which is always exciting and never seems to disappoint.

That said, you might imagine my surprise when I learned about the up and coming graffiti/street art culture growing inside Iran's borders. With its rich history in the arts, specifically calligraphy, it only makes sense that this art form would make its way into Tehran's dusty and crowded streets. The only street art I was familiar with in Iran prior to this discovery were the plethora of government murals which pollute the city with pro-Islamic propaganda. However, unlike these murals, the current Iranian graffiti scene is serving as a much more important realm of creativity and anonymous political action. These images serve as examples of everyday resistance within Iran's borders- commenting on everything from the government's "Islam" to Persian culture to the state of the world/global economy in general. There are many powerful images that strike a chord with viewers, stirring important conversations within the privacy of many households. Aesthetically, many of the images serve to brighten the city, reinfuse it with the color and life this regime has tried so hard to drain from it. I think street art could hold a very important place in the lives of the millions of youth currently situated in Iran. I'm very interested to see how long it'll be before the government starts to censor these budding street artists...

here are a few examples of the work that's been popping up there.

Portrait of a homeless girl, selling fortunes by A1one.

Sticker art in Tehran

Baby Bombs found in Tehran, by A1one

"Muhammads" by the Gaff Boys, commenting on war crimes

A poster for a "Spray Exhibition" in a Tehran gallery

like what you see? check out irangraffiti or kolah studio