Khosrow Hassanzadeh

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Khosrow Hassanzadeh
Born1963
Tehran, Iran
NationalityIranian
EducationMojtama-e-Honar University, Tehran (1989–91); Persian Literature at Azad University, Tehran (1995–99)
Known forPainter, installation artist and ceramist
StylePolitical art

Khosrow Hassanzadeh (born 1963 in Tehran) is an Iranian painter. He is known for his "Terrorist" collection.

Life and career[edit]

Hassanzadeh was born in 1963 in Tehran, to a working class Azerbaijani family who were fruit-sellers. He was just 17 years when the Iran-Iraq war broke out, and he dropped out of school and enlisted in the Basiji militia, but was subsequently obliged to remain as a conscript.[1] When he returned from the war, he chose to work on themes that reflected his experiences of war.[2]

Following his return to civilian life, he studied art, enrolling in the Mojtama-e-Honar University (1989–91) where he studied painting and later at the Persian Literature at Azad University (1995–99), both in Tehran.[3] His art teachers advised him to "draw small" so that his work would be marketable, but he ignored this advice. From the outset, he was determined to paint large murals and posters. [4]

He first exhibited in the 1980s, but only gained international recognition with War (1998), a grim and trenchant diary of his own experiences as a volunteer soldier during the Iran-Iraq war (1980–1988). In Ashura (2000) a 'women-friendly' interpretation of the most revered Shiite religious ceremony, he depicted chador-clad women engulfed by religious iconography. Chador (2001) and Prostitutes (2002) continued his exploration of sociological themes particular to Iran's hyper-gendered urban landscape. [5] The latter paintings used police mug shots to pay tribute to sixteen prostitutes killed by a serial killer in Mashhad, a religious capital of Iran. The paintings were created after filmmaker Maziar Bahari commissioned Hassanzadeh to create a poster for his film, And Along Came a Spider. In Terrorist (2004) the artist questions the concept of 'terrorism' in international politics by portraying himself, his mother and sisters as 'terrorists'.

Unlike many of his contemporaries who have left Iran, Hassanzadeh has chosen to continue to live and work as an artist in Iran.[6] He is currently based in Tehran, where he works as an actor, visual artist and ceramist. His work featured in many exhibitions in Europe and the Middle East. Time magazine described him as one of the country's "hottest" artists. [7]

Work[edit]

His works often deal with issues that are considered sensitive in Iranian society and therefore he is frequently referred to as a 'political' artist or 'pop' artist. Scholars have described his style as somewhere between dissident and regime art.[8] The artist, himself, calls his work "people's art" because it deals with social issues that affect everyday people. [9] His work is influenced by the Saqqa Kaneh movement and traditional Iranian art.

He has had solo shows in Amsterdam, Beirut, Dubai, London, Phnom Penh, and Tehran. His work is held by the British Museum, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the World Bank and the Tropenmuseum. Hassanzadeh works primarily with painting, silkscreen, mosaics and mixed media.

Select list of works

  • Early Paintings, series, 1988–1998 [10]
  • Mother, pastel on paper, series, 1988 [11]
  • Do I Have to Sign, oil on canvas, 180 X 120cm, 1999[12]
  • Ashoura installation (collaboration with Sadegh Tirakhan), exhibited at TMOCA, Summer, 2001 [13]
  • Terrorist, a four piece series, 2004 [14]
  • Ya Mi Modal, silkscreen and oil on paper, 200 x 200 cm, 2008 [15]
  • Ready to Order, mixed media, 215 X 135 X 28cm, 2009 [16]
  • Dome mosaic, ceramic plate, 2010 [17]
  • Remember, mixed media on ceramic tile, 2010 [18]

Literature[edit]

  • Shatanawi, Mirjam, Tehran Studio Works. The Art of Khosrow Hassanzadeh. London: Saqi Books, 2007.
  • Shatanawi, Mirjam, 'The disquieting art of Khosrow Hassanzadeh', in: ISIM Review 18, Autumn 2006, pp. 54–55.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Issa, R., Pākbāz, R. and Shayegan, D., Iranian Contemporary Art, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2001, p. 26; Daragahi, B., "Iranian Artists Inspired by Adversity," Los Angeles Times, 27 March, 2011, Online:
  2. ^ Fard, H.J., "Iranian Painters for Peace," Peace Review, Vol. 25, No.2 , pp 284-290, DOI:10.1080/10402659.2013.785334
  3. ^ Amirsadeghi, H., Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art, Thames & Hudson, 2009, p. 50
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times, 27 March, 2011, Online:
  5. ^ Shatanawi, M., "The Disquieting Art of Khosrow Hassanzadeh," ISIM Review, vol. 18,, no. 1, 2006, pp 55-56
  6. ^ Clare, C., Subversive Ceramics, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016, p. 148
  7. ^ Time, Vol. 169, 2007, p. 39
  8. ^ Clare, C., Subversive Ceramics, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016, p. 148-149
  9. ^ Daragahi, B., "Iranian Artists Inspired by Adversity," Los Angeles Times, 27 March, 2011, Online:
  10. ^ Behiery, C., "The Veiled Muslim Woman as Subject in Contemporary Art: The Role of Location, Autobiography, and the Documentary Image," Implicit Religion, Vol. 16, no. 4, 2013, pp 417–442, doi:10.1558/imre.v16i4.417
  11. ^ Behiery, C., "The Veiled Muslim Woman as Subject in Contemporary Art: The Role of Location, Autobiography, and the Documentary Image," Implicit Religion, Vol. 16, no. 4, 2013, pp 417–442, doi:10.1558/imre.v16i4.417
  12. ^ Issa, R., Pākbāz, R. and Shayegan, D., Iranian Contemporary Art, Booth-Clibborn Editions, 2001, p. 94
  13. ^ Gumpert, L. and Balaghi, S., Picturing Iran: Art, Society and Revolution, I.B.Tauris, 2002, p. 86
  14. ^ Shatanawi, M., "The Disquieting Art of Khosrow Hassanzadeh," ISIM Review, vol. 18,, no. 1, 2006, pp 55-56
  15. ^ "In the Mood for Paper, Art and AsiaPacific Quarterly Journal, No. 64-65, p. 51
  16. ^ Eigner, S., Art of the Middle East: Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran, Merrell, 2010, p. 120
  17. ^ Clare, C., Subversive Ceramics, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016, p. 149
  18. ^ "Khosrow Hassanzadeh Celebratres Traditional Murals and Figures," Art Observer, 2 April, 2012, Online:

External links[edit]

  • [1] Examples of Khosrow's work at Nafas art magazine

Further reading[edit]

  • Mirjam Shatanawi, Tehran Studio Works: The Art of Khosrow Hassanzadeh, Saqi Books, 2007 (in Farsi and English)