Esmaël Bahrani is an Iranian artist. Born in 1978, he entered the Tehran University of Art and Architecture but quickly turns away from the dogmatism of the school to pursue his own path. He discovered graffiti in the early 2000s through Western press. Fascinated by this art of libertarian essence, he began to paint at night under cover in different cities of Iran.
Alongside his nocturnal expeditions, the artist also works in a workshop. Similar to shouts, his powerful works denounce the oppression of an theocratic regime and the lack of freedom of a rebellious youth. He’s also free using techniques, moving from drawing to painting, mixing the aerosol can and the brush,covering his canvases with wax to better scratch them and make tortured characters appear in a chaotic environment. In 2005, he presented for the first time some paintings in a group exhibition at the Azad Art Gallery in Tehran. His career has been launched. In 2012, his solo exhibition at the Dastan Gallery in Tehran was a success.
In 2007 he came to France for the first time. Invited by the artist Hervé di Rosa, he showed his work at the MIAM (International Museum of Modest Arts) as part of a collective exhibition. He was the only artist from the Middle East to exhibit at the “Tag au Grand Palais” exhibition in 2009. Invited by the Institut du Monde Arabe in the spring of 2015, he took his chance. Tired of repression and threats against him, he decided to leave Iran to come to France. As he took refuge in Paris, he now develops his art where Middle East and West, ancestral myths and underground culture, outsider art and street art collide.