‘Inside Out Iran’ – Arts Canteen and Roya Arab present the Iranian Urban Art Exhibition co-curated with Shaghayegh Cyrous. A chance to see some of the best artworks being produced by Iranian urban artists living in and out of Iran, covering three generations of Graffiti artists: Blackhand, CK1, Abcnt, ill, FRZ, PST and OMET with additional pieces by Ghalamdar, Ms Cyrous, W.B. & Blind.
CK1 is the pseudonym of an Iranian visual artist, and graffiti artist pioneer. He explores Iranian root culture poets like Hafez and Rumi. The postmodern use of Persian alphabet/Islamic art motifs in his works, instead of predominantly using western cultural motifs, sets his artwork apart. The blossoming years of street art and graffiti in Iran, led by art groups like Kolah Studio and Ratz in Tehran (2002-2003) were influential in the graffiti scene of the Middle East. Artists such as CK1, Magoi, a1one, established the first Iranian graffiti movement that emerged in Tehran. CK1 was one of the defying artists of the scene that followed. He moved to San Francisco in 2011. He has done many street art and public art projects in San Francisco and the Bay area such as Clarion alley mural project, SFMTA and Chinese culture center project with Justin Hoover and Shaghayegh Cyrous. www.ck1art.com
FRZ is from the first generation Street artist working in Tabriz since 2006. He uses mostly stencil & paste ups because of the situation in Iran, which makes stencil the best form of communicating ideas. “My subjects are not limited to any particular issues. I make work about things that challenge my thoughts”.
Black Hand heads a crew of graffiti artists in Tehran leaving images laden with social and political messages and very few art pieces to be displayed inside – seemingly more interested in painting directly onto public walls.
ABCNT Born in LA, is a socio-political activist/anarchist, the product of mid-nineties expressionism and new-millennium activism, who describes himself as a “real west coast hip-hop fanatic, with a kind of militant attitude towards consciousness.”
ill is from the new generation artist from Tabriz whose art works can be seen in Tabriz and Tehran, providing a distinct commentary on the world around him.
Omet is from the new generation artists now renowned for his street wear brand. Omet created unique art pieces, using his urban wear, especially for the Iranian Urban Art exhibition.
Ghalamdar is an emerging artist working primarily as a graffiti artist. He experiences and creates by using calligraphy, Miniature painting (Negar-gari) and folk objects as parts of his subject inspirations. He has over the past year been exhibited in various exhibitions across Europe. https://www.facebook.com/iranian.graffiti
PST is a third self- taught Graffiti artist from Tehran who has been painting walls since 2006 and is now based in Canada.
W.B. & Blind-
W.B. (aka Worm Brain) is an emerging artist from the new generation of Iranian graffiti artists, studying graphic design at one Tehran’s top universities and primarily working in street art mediums. Although his works are strongly rooted in Pop-art movement, he is also inspired by Iranian traditional arts specifically Islamic geometry.
Blind: Established graffiti artist co-pioneering Iranian graffiti scene since 2005 and the co-founder of the first Iranian graffiti crew called Elf crew. He is best known for his experimental works using Arabic/Iranian alphabet with western old school styles though his last works are extremely rooted in “Saqqakhanah” art movement of 1960s. https://instagram.com/blind_elfcrew/
Shaghayegh Cyrous is an artist living and working in the Bay area. She was born in Tehran and moved to the United States in 2011. Her work is based on Persian colours, motives, miniatures, architecture, poems and nature. In her studies, she has been focusing on Persian colour and culture for more than 4 years. Cyrous has been involved in public art since 2009 and has done many projects in Iran including land art in Darabad Mountain, graffiti in City Theatre, performances throughout the city of Tehran and many installations throughout San Francisco and the Bay area such as Voice of Iran in Clarion alley mural project in the Mission district of San Francisco, a collaboration with CK1. She has also had several exhibitions in art galleries, museums and palaces in Tehran, London, Mexico City and San Francisco. www.shcyrous.com
Opening 4 Sept until 26 Sept. Rich Mix Mezzanine Gallery. Free entry Mon-Fri 9am-10.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-10.30pm.