A1one

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

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A1one studied 5 years at the university but got expelled by the school’s president following a disagreement over religion

He was the first person who started painting on walls of Tehran so his nickname ended to be “Alone” which then mutated into A1one A1one started painting indoors in the late 1990’s He is one of the pioneers of the urban art scene in Middle East When he began, it was a time when nobody knew what graffiti was in his country He has been known as the Iranian Banksy because of his importance in the rise of street art and stencilling within Iran, for art lovers and ordinary people

Already involved in urban arts in general, he met in 1998 the rapper Nima who told him everything about the hip hop underground culture which triggered A1one’s desire to grow in that direction His first significant work was a painting under the Tehran-Karaj expressway called Searching for friends

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, KT and Magoi were the first people to join him in Tehran With his public space art, he describes his view on the Iranian society and puts himself regularly in danger In 2006, he met with Tehran city officials to obtain the authorization to paint on walls, but officials had no interest in his work, they solely asked for money and artistic religious illustrations

“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”

In 2008, he was invited to show his work at the annual Melbourne Stencil Festival, taking 40 pieces of work with him to his first trip in a non-dictatorship country, thus experimenting exhibiting his artwork without the fear of reprisals for the first time

Style:
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

The artist has 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

Arrests:
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:
Group shows (selected):
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
2008 “Spray1387”, Arete Gallery, Tehran, IRAN
2008 12 Inch Art, Winnipeg 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:
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
Publications:
2002 Turn the Night / As Author and Translator / The most credible book about story of Rock and heavy metal music in Persian language / ISBN 964-7380-10-0 / Mess Publications IRAN
2007 Street Art and the War on Terror ISBN 978-0-9553398-8-2 / Rebellion Books/ UK
2008 Young and Defiant in Tehran ISBN 0-8122-4039-1 /University of Pennsylvania Press(PENN)
2008 Arabesque / Die Gestalten Verlag / ISBN 978-3-89955-206-5 / Germany
2008 Stencil Nation / ISBN 978-1-933149-22-6 / ManicdPress USA
2008 400ml ISBN 978-2-85980-011-6 / Kitchen93
2009 Stickers2 ISBN 978-3-89955-262-1 / Die Gestalten verlag /Germany
2009 The Ark ISBN 978-988-18-4701-0 / Systems-Design Limited (IDN)/ HongKong
2009 Urban IRAN ISBN 978-0-9799666-1-3 /Markbatty Publisher/USA
2010 Street Knowledge by King Adz 978-0007318698 Collins UK/Overlook Press (US)
2011 Graffiti 365 by JaySon Eddin 0810997444 Abrams(October 1, 2011) (US)