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Alone in Tehran.jpg
A1one A.k.a Tanha,
Born karen rashad
Known for Graffiti
Street art
Underground art
Islamic graffiti
Social commentary

A1one (Persian: تنها‎‎) is the street name of a visual artist who created graffiti and street art in Iran especially on the walls of Tehran.[1]


He was the first person who started painting on walls of Tehran so his nickname ended to be "Alone" which then mutated into A1one. He started his street art project in 2003 and inspired his close friends at that time to also begin painting on the streets. Artists such as Elle, isba, K.T. and Magoi were the first people to join him in Tehran. He is one of the pioneers of the urban art scene in Middle East. With his public space art, he describes his view on the Iranian society and puts himself regularly in danger. When he began, it was a time when nobody even knew what graffiti was in his country. He has also been known and called as Iranian Banksy just because of his importance in the rise of street art and stencilling within Iran, for art lovers and ordinary people. [2]

"When I decided to do my painting on walls I bought some spray cans - at that time we had just some very low quality colors in Iran. My first work was a very simple work titled “searching for friends” painted on a wall right next to the Tehran-Karaj expressway late at night. It was a really frightening night for me… The next morning I got three calls from friends who recognized my style of painting. They were shocked to see my work on a public wall. My first stencil was a Munch's Scream Print on Art University walls and after that , experimented with many techniques and methods, but I continue with stencils, graffiti and sticker art."[3]

Artworks and influences[edit]

A1one's art world is dynamic and made of many different styles. from portraits to calligraphy and funky characters which he mostly uses for his stickers. A1ones artworks combine both, Persian calligraphy and Western graffiti. His art has been documented by many photographers and featured in Art Asia Pacific Magazine.

Arabic Graffiti[edit]

The artist has also been working on Arabic Graffiti Style Design from 2003 and developed graffiti style in Islamic graffiti world. He has made a handful of the greatest Style walls with Arabic letter graffiti since 2004.[4]


He has been arrested several times and signed agreements with police not to work in streets. The management of the Iranian artists forum did not understand his aim and stopped him and called the police. In 2012 A1one was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security (Iran), under the charge of social and political reasons and was held in Evin Prison for 10 days at Ward 209.

Selected exhibitions[edit]

Group shows (selected)[edit]

  • 2005 "Portrait and Expression", Behzad Art Gallery, Tehran, IRAN
  • 2006 "Start Propaganda II " Los Angeles, USA
  • 2007 "Process Invisible", Street Level Gallery, Portland, USA
  • 2007 "Resist", La Condition Pablique, Roubaix,France
  • 2007 "Spray 2007 ",Mehrin Art Gallery, Tehran, IRAN
  • 2008 "Iranian Contemporary Artists Expo", Molavi Organization Hall, Tehran / IRAN
  • 2008 "Visual Slang", Henry Art Settlement,NY, USA
  • 2008 "400 ML", Paris,France
  • 2008 "Melbourne Stencil Festival 08", Yarra Sculpture Gallery,Melbourne, Australia‚Ä®
  • 2008 "Spray1387", Arete Gallery, Tehran, IRAN
  • 2008 12 Inch Art, Winniepeg Canada
  • 2008 Vinyl Killers, Portland,USA
  • 2009 Your Kid Can't Do this / Group show Touring Australia
  • 2009 Visual Slang III / NewYork
  • 2009 Urban Art Agenda / Melbourne / Brisbane .Australia
  • 2009 Brot And Kunst / Famous when Dead Gallery /Melbourne
  • 2009 Group Show / Seyhoun Art gallery / Tehran
  • 2010 "Public Provocations", Carhartt Gallery - Weil am Rhein[Germany

Solo shows[edit]

  • 2005 "Alone / Pain Things ", Seyhoun Art Gallery, Tehran, IRAN
  • 2006 "October 1385 ",Mehrin Art Gallery, Tehran / IRAN
  • 2007 "I am Not Political"(private Solo show), Kolahstudio, Tehran / IRAN
  • 2008 "Spray it to the nation", Mehrin Art gallery, Tehran, IRAN
  • 2010 Solo Show, Seyhoun Gallery .Tehran



Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]