Surreal Murals Enliven the Streets of Tehran

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, "Old Memories of Tehran" (2009) Image courtesy of Mehdi Ghadyanloo

Mehdi Ghadyanloo may be single-handedly turning Tehran into a haven for street art. According to the Huffington Post, the street artist has created over 100 whimsical, Surrealism-influenced murals throughout the city over the course of the past eight years. An MFA graduate from Tarbiat Modares University and the owner of Blue Sky Painters, he says he hopes “to bring some cohesion or at least color to the often confused and smog-smeared architectural face of the city,” according to art blog My Modern Met.

The joyous, imaginative scenes are often surreal in nature—a man floats holding a bouquet of baloons, children ride a slide in the sky, people walk upside down on the ceiling. The murals also make use of their urban environment. In one, fat raindrops pour from a cartoon-ish cloud onto a real tree planted beneath the painting. They are thoughtful, highly inventive works making interventions into Tehranians’ everyday lives and landscape. Ghadyanloo says he draws his ins

piration from his own, fictional “endless story.”

However, creating street art in Tehran comes with some risks. “Graffiti is illegal here in Iran, like in many other countries, so graffiti artists in Tehran work at nights. We have [a] very good underground street artist [network],” Ghadyanloo explained to the Huffington Post. While Tehran is not yet a destination for many contemporary art enthusiasts, these paintings makes us think it soon could be.

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, "Freshness" (2008) Image courtesy of Mehdi Ghadyanloo

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, Freshness (2008).
Photo: Courtesy of Mehdi Ghadyanloo.

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, "The Cycle of Life" Image courtesy of Mehdi Ghadyanloo

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, The Cycle of Life.
Photo: Courtesy of Mehdi Ghadyanloo.

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, "Impossible is Nothing", detail. Image courtesy of Mehdi Ghadyanloo

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, Impossible is Nothing (detail).
Photo: Courtesy of Mehdi Ghadyanloo.

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, "Rain Bird" Image courtesy of Mehdi Ghadyanloo

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, Rain Bird.
Photo: Courtesy of Mehdi Ghadyanloo.

 

 

 

 


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