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Foundry Downtown in Dubai is currently holding ETERNITY, a solo exhibition by Iranian street artist Nafir. His first solo show in the Middle East, it will be open to the public until the 29th of September, 2023.

Nafir’s childhood informs his art. The son of a carpet merchant, he grew up surrounded by the colours, patterns, and textures of the Iranian artisanal and artistic heritage. Through his artworks, the artist expresses his love for the beauty of Iranian culture. Apart from graffiti paintings, he produces some other unconventional art pieces. They comprise typical objects from Persian culture (first of all, carpets) and images, mostly female portraits, which are created on the object’s surface with spray paints. Impacted by being raised by a single mother, for Nafir, the carpet represents a woman, and through his work, he pays tribute to feminine strength.

About the artist

Nafir (b. 1989) resides in Tehran, his hometown. He took his moniker, which translates as scream, from one of the poems by Rumi, the most famous Persian poet from the 13th century. Nafir began his journey as a street artist in 2007 to address political censorship and social issues in Iran. Later he came back to his roots rediscovering the ancient traditions of Persia.

With street art made illegal in Iran, it takes Nafir a few seconds to create another of his wall paintings: he uses stencils that he cuts out in his studio in advance. Through his graffiti works, the artist denounces a world which promotes success and in which failure has no place. He draws our attention to a modern-day race towards eternal renewal while the old becomes obsolete rather than a legacy.

According to Nafir, he usually paints before sleeping or when he is angry about problems he is dealing with and needs to express himself. “Sometimes it’s my feeling about myself that I paint on walls, sometimes it’s bad news or an accident that happened here,” the artist says.

Nafir’s art pieces can be found both in Iran and abroad: Malaysia, Afghanistan, Italy, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, India, and Georgia.

To learn more about the ETERNITY exhibition, please visit the event’s official web page.

You might also be interested in looking at impressive public murals on the streets of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Besides, you can admire some great street art at La Mer beach in Dubai and check out a collection of public sculptures and statues on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid boulevard.