Ghalamdar (“the writer” in Farsi) is a graffiti artist (born 1994, Tehran, Iran) living and working in UK. He is an active member of Calligraffiti community and called between the four most recognized Iranian street artists who are making their own mark by Art Radar Journal, and between the twelve artists crucial to the world of Iranian street art by The Huffington Post.
In the beginning as a youngster he wanted to add color to his gray colored hometown, Tehran, and to break the habit and expectancy of watching the same walls he passes by every day by practicing and experiencing variety of graffiti styles. He cooperated with other Iranian graffiti writers such as Elf crew – between the first emerging graffiti crews in the Middle East – and painted a huge ton of big walls around Tehran.
As Iranian society has never truly experienced a Hip-hop sub-culture he believes his roots lie somewhere else. Approximately parallel with the 80s graffiti and Hip-hop of America there were radical social streams using graffiti as a media for bringing the Iranian revolution of 1979 up. He thinks of his roots and the relationship between his artwork and the vandalism of the revolution – and such other Iranian social or artistic streams – and how they influence each other.
For gaining his own art expression, he tended to the Saqqakhaneh movement of the 1960s and 1970s, He uses calligraphy, Miniature painting (Negar-gari), folk objects, and Shi’i iconography as parts of his subject inspirations. He avoids the strict rules and preparation rituals of the craft in favor of abstraction. Saqqakhaneh artists directly inspired him to challenge the dominant pictorial material of Iranian street art aiming for developing an aesthetic with particular Iranian markers.
While he has undoubtedly been influenced by traditional calligraphic practice, his works share an affinity with the interlocking aesthetic of “wild style” graffiti and traditional calligraphy which demonstrate an amalgamation of these two cultures. Like the letterist works of the Saqqakhaneh artists, his text-based pieces have emphasized the pictorial form of Perso-Arabic script over the literary content of traditional calligraphic practice.
He creates by reconstructing the Iranian folklore stories, legends, talismans, superstitions and generally Iranian culture and traditions; to be more precise his works are the result of his curiosity and skepticism about the personal and national identity.
2016 Urban Art Expo, Cave Bianchi venue, Nice, France (Curated by Sunday-events)
2016 The Mine Pop-up show XIV, The Mine Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2016 Art in secret, Alserkal venue, Dubai, UAE
2015 Iranian embassy in Israel, Julie K palace, Jerusalem, Israel (Curated by Hamabul collective)
2015 Inside-out Iran, Rich Mix gallery, London, England (Curated by Arts Canteen, Shaghayegh Cyrous and Roya Arab)
2015 Calligraffiti Ambassadors, Affenfaust gallery, Hamburg, Germany
2015 Iranian Urban Art, Graffik gallery, London, England (Curated by Shaghayegh Cyrous and Roya Arab)
2014 few scenes from paradise, Atbin gallery, Tehran, Iran (Curated by Shakiba Parvaresh)
2015 “Peace Helmets”, Curated by LSD magazine, London, England
2011 “spray 2011”, Presented by Kolah studio, Hosted by Adrenaline Extreme Sports and Supported by Dupli-Color, Tehran, Iran (Main participant artist)
Publication as author:
“Diaries of a Vandal”, Melville Brand Design studio, Germany, March 30, 2016
Nicholas Ganz,” Street messages”, Dokument Press, Sweden, April 15, 2015