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Pioneering urban artist A1one works mainly on the streets of Tehran in Iran where he was the first to do so and also the first to develop a graffiti style based on Persian calligraphy.

Being the first and only person painting on walls in Tehran he garnered the nickname “Alone” which eventually became a more stylised A1one.  He inspired many of his close friends to start painting Tehran with artists such as Elle, isba, K.T. and Magoi joining him after his first urban art project in 2003.  He is now recognised as a pioneer of the growing street art scene in the Middle East and has often been dubbed the Iranian Banksy simply because of his part in the increase of street art, street artists and stencil artists.

He often uses his view of the modern political landscape of Iran in his art and this often means that he himself is in danger.

Here he describes his first stencil painting made on the streets of Tehran: “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.”

He has been arrested many times by the Iranian police and even held in prison by the Ministry of Intelligence and National Security.

Country : Iran

Mr Pilgrim