Public Art in Tehran: Painting One Wall at a Time

October 20, 2016 - 1:30 pm

Atlantic Council, 1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC

Future of Iran Initiative 
Public Art in Tehran: Painting One Wall at a Time

A conversation with:
Mehdi Ghadyanloo

David Furchgott
Founder, President, CEO
 International Arts & Artists

Introduced and Moderated by:
Barbara Slavin
Acting Director
Future of Iran Initiative, Atlantic Council
Part of Iran’s burgeoning contemporary art scene is the transformation of public spaces through murals. The Future of Iran Initiative and Epicenter, a new initiative of the Institute for Policy Studies, invites you to meet Mehdi Ghadyanloo, the most famous public artist in Iran, whose fanciful murals appear all over Tehran as well as in other major cities around the world. This will be his first visit to Washington, DC, and a unique opportunity to meet and talk to the man who literally changed the face of Tehran.

The Future of Iran Initiative invites you to a film about the work of one of Iran’s most celebrated muralists, Mehdi Ghadyanloo, and a discussion on Iran's art scene.

On Twitter? Follow @ACSouthAsia and use #ACIran

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record. 

VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info


Mehdi Ghadyanloo is an Iranian artist known for his utopian and philosophical paintings that interrogate universal human precepts such as fear, hope and loss. Through the portrayal of minimal heterotopic environments, surreal architectural arrangements, and the repeated use of symbolic elements such as stairs, balloons and aeroplanes, Ghadyanloo invites us to consider new realities and the shared universality of our existence. Ghadyanloo has always lived in Iran and grew up on a farm during the Iran-Iraq war. The uncertain experiences of war and sanctions had a lasting effect on his psyche. Through his works Ghadyanloo subconsciously encapsulates and expresses a sense of suspension for an entire generation living in Iran. Although at times somber, Ghadyanloo’s work conveys hope that change can be effected, and it speaks with joy of what remains glorious in gloomy times. Aside from his works on canvas, a wide range of print making techniques, and sculpture, Ghadyanloo is also one of Iran’s foremost public artists. After answering an open call from the Municipality of Tehran's Beautification Bureau, Ghadyanloo painted over one hundred gigantic murals throughout Tehran between 2004 and 2011.
David Furchgott is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of International Arts & Artists (IA&A), which he began in 1995. Under his leadership, IA&A has grown to become a local and national leader in cross-cultural and international exchange. Furchgott began each of IA&A’s initial core departments and programs; he arranged the acquisition of its art collection, as well as the purchase and renovation of its facility in downtown Washington. Previously, Furchgott was the executive director of the International Sculpture Center, the professional association for sculptors, which he developed from a university-based organization to an internationally-known nonprofit with over fifteen thousand members in over seventy countries. In that capacity, he also founded and published Sculpture Magazine for fifteen years. He has served as the visual arts director of the Spoleto Festival USA, as community arts director for the state of South Carolina, as a curator with the Gibbes Museum of Art. Furchgott has lectured and consulted internationally on the status of visual artists, museums, public art, and related subjects.