My Interview with Iranian Street Artist A1one on ArtCal

10. Painting Is Not a Crime

I interviewed Iranian street art pioneer A1one this past weekend and the article, along with an annotated slideshow is up today.

Here’s a snippet of my intro:

A street artist with a taste for drawing, collage, stencils and spray paint, A1one helps break down the monolithic image we have in the West of a conformist Islamic Iranian society. The 27-year-old is an eclectic talent who easily synthesizes a whole universe of influences. From Banksy to Australian Aboriginal art, from hip hop graffiti to Islamic calligraphy, A1one is a one-man street art crew who has inspired an emerging generation in Iran to take to the streets with a message informed by their local experience.

And a taste of the interview:

HV: What are the potential penalties for doing street art in Tehran?

A1one: If you mean about the law, it is not mentioned in “The Law.” But when the Iranian Islamic police catch you and they start feeling uncomfortable with what you’re doing then your future could be in jeopardy until they decide if it is anti-Islamic or not–this is the only thing which has meaning for some people and that is where the risk lies. They may not care about your art or even the issue of vandalism or public property before thinking about it in terms of being political or pro-Western.

Check out the complete interview (+ slideshow) here.

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Image caption: “Painting is Not a Crime” by A1one, photo courtesy Kolah Studio, Tehran (Iran).

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