AIC Advisory Council member’s paintings displayed on Tehran’s billboards

by Master Painter and AIC Advisory Council member Mahmoud Farshchian

by Master Painter and AIC Advisory Council Member Mahmoud Farshchian


New paintings on Tehran's billboards

Originally published in GOOD Magazine

by Tasbeeh Herwees

In an effort to promote the city’s museums and cultural institutions, the mayor of Tehran exchanged 1,500 of the city’s billboard ads with works of art by local and international artists. The billboards, which line many of Tehran’s busy streets and highways, now feature images of paintings by the likes of 20th century Iranian artists Sohrab Sepehri and [AIC Advisory Council member] Mahmoud Farshchian, as well as pieces by Spanish painters Pablo Picasso and the French artist Henri Matisse.

“When I woke up this morning, something strange had happened,” wrote one woman on the Iranian news website Khabaronline. “I thought I was dreaming, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Tehran had turned into a museum.”

The project, titled A Gallery As Big As a Town, was curated by the local Tehran sculptor Saeed Shahlapour, but all of the pieces chosen were first evaluated by government officials. The project managers appealed to private billboard companies for the right to use the billboards, which will be up for less than two weeks.

“They weren’t initially comfortable with the idea of closing down their advertising business for 10 days but they finally approved to give us their spaces because it was a cultural activity,” Mojtaba Mousavi, one of the project managers, told Khabaronline. “We were free in choosing the works but there was a general guideline. We wanted both Iranian and world art pieces and finally some 70% of the billboards are from Iran and the rest from the outside world,”

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Kayvon Afshari

Kayvon Afshari managed the campaign to elect Hooshang Amirahmadi as President of Iran. In this role, he directed the campaign’s event planning, publicity, online social media, web analytics, and delivered speeches. Mr. Afshari has also been working at the CBS News foreign desk for over five years. He has coordinated coverage of Iran’s 2009 post-election demonstrations, the Arab Spring, the earthquake in Haiti, and many other stories of international significance. He holds a Master in International Relations from New York University’s Department of Politics, and graduated with distinction from McGill University in 2007 with a double major in political science and Middle Eastern studies. At NYU, his research focused on quantitative analysis and the Middle East with an emphasis on US-Iran relations. In his 2012 Master’s thesis, he devised a formula to predict whether Israel would launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, concluding that an overt strike would not materialize.