Tag Archives: street art

Turban Warfare (Tehran Street Art pt.2)

My friend is tired. Having spent the day erecting over 400 street pieces throughout Tehran’s concrete, steel, and rage-lined arteries. Having run away from angry men on motorcycles wielding batons towards angry men wearing green and throwing rocks.

The world has been introduced to a new lexicon. The Guardian Council, the Basij, Khomeni, Khameni, Khatami, ValiAsr, Supreme Leader, Ayatollah, Mousavi. We knew about the other guy. The one everyone called Dinner Jacket. We knew about Iran. Or at least we thought we did. Something to do with nukes and Islam and not liking Israel very much. Strange race. Don’t they speak Arabic? No? Farsi? What the fuck’s that it all looks the same. Threatening. Angry. Alien.

The phones are dead. Dying. Or gasping. They’re not good. The internet is equally dodgy but proxy servers are still operating. So, for now, the internet is providing either a vital means of communication or a useful weapon for control.

The Guardian Council is probably eyeing Burma and North Korea enviously. It seems they are trying to emulate their regime cousins by restricting communications and limiting foreign presence.

I received more images and a note from Tehran’s street art Scarlet Pimpernel. I’ve been asked not to reprint the discussion.

The text on the top photo reads “Where’s my vote?’

45i

ik

demo===

All photographs and artwork are by [REDACTED]. Names and identities have been withheld for the security of those involved.

Should you choose to repost these images, please drop me a line with a comment I can forward to the artist(s) involved.

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Images For A New Age (Tehran Street Art)

Sometimes the best presents you receive are the ones that show you people are not alone in fighting for what is right. Weapons of this battle? Feet. Minds. Paint. Words.

If you wander through the streets of Tehran, you may encounter some of these images. Look closely.

If you wander through the streets of Tehran, you may encounter a country whose population is primarily under the age of 35. The beards who ran the Islamic Revolution had an issue with condoms around 1979. And since nobody could go out and have a drink and a dance to bide their evenings, young couples took up more amourous pursuits. The result is a country with a young population. A population with ever increasing female university students. A country with people who know how to dodge firewalls. A people imbued with a passion for self-expression and a rich artistic tradition.

Nothing – not a beard, a Basij, a club, or a gun – can repress the creativity and flair I’ve seen with my own eyes in Iran.

This video was shot from a balcony in Tehran. The pictures below are of art recently placed on the streets of Tehran.

musavi sticker

scream

doctormahmood

mola

fone

dictatore-with-beard

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All photographs and artwork are by [REDACTED]. Names and identities have been withheld for the security of those involved.

Should you choose to repost these images, please drop me a line with a comment I can forward to the artist(s) involved.

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Banksy Sets Up Shop In Big Apple

Banksy, the Scarlet Pimpernel of the art world, is in New York. Or was.

Whoever Banksy may be, he’s opened the Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill in New York’s West Village.

It features animatronics developed by “some Hollywoodish company”. Set in a shopfront Sweeny Todd would own if he were into animals, a rabbit paints its nails, chicken nuggets feed from a dish of sauce, fish fingers swim in a bowl, hot dogs burrow and frolic in terrariums, CCTV cameras look after their young, a leopard print coat perches atop a tree, and a bald, caged, suicidal-looking Tweety swings back and forth in his cage.

Banksy is no stranger to installations. In 2005 in London’s Notting Hill, he filled a shop front with live rats and his painted reworkings of the sort of thing you would see in the National Gallery and called it Crude Oils.

The difference here is that nothing is for sale. Nothing is signed, nothing is commodified. The actors manning the shop play every bit the New York pet shop owner.

One of the pet shop owners is a tutor at the School of Visual Arts, Marty Abrahams. His son was approached by Banksy’s people with an offer of a short term job for Marty with some “acting involved”.

Reaction from the natives has been anything from asking to buy the entire show (nothing is for sale, but the “souvenirs” will probably end up on eBay) to befuddlement to “it’s a metaphor – we start off as chicken nuggets, graduate to hot dogs then turn into the masturbating monkey”.

Banksy gives his own reasons for the show. “New Yorkers don’t care about art, they care about pets. So I’m exhibiting them instead. I wanted to make art that questioned our relationship with animals and the ethics and sustainability of factory farming, but it ended up as chicken nuggets singing. I took all the money I made exploiting an animal in my last show and used it to fund a new show about the exploitation of animals. If its art and you can see it from the street, I guess it could still be considered street art.”

Banksy stalkers and “those in the know” have been chattering about “something big” by Britain’s favourite vandal for months. However, his publicist and anyone “official” will only say that there is a new pet store in New York.

The Village Pet Store and Charcoal Grill is open to the public until 31 October on 89 7th Avenue, New York City and can be viewed any time day or night, inside or out.

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This article was orginally published on Sky News Online on 10 October 2008. All rights reserved.

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