Artnet News, dateline June 17, 2009
"With all eyes on Iran as the country breaks out in protests over the recent presidential election, one local activist gaining an international audience is A1one, an anonymous Tehran-based graffiti artist. A1one is known for stickers, posters and spray-painted works featuring a distinctive pop-eyed character based on what he describes as "ancient Iranian motifs and also world motifs." On his blog, "Tehran Walls," A1one describes himself as a "Vandal or Anarchist," and insists that he is "not about politics" (perhaps his greatest series is "More than 200 Cracks in Tehran," featuring vivid images from Persian miniatures and other sources peeking out through cracks in painted surfaces). Amid the recent turmoil, however, his work has taken on a topical aspect.
To wit, A1one’s stickers have begun to pop up in Tehran (the blog "FryingPanFire" recently posted snapshots of several street works and dubbed them "Images for a New Age"), with several showing A1one’s unique characters cradling portraits of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, the challenger to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the disputed election. Other stickers show a creature shaped like a large pen with eyes, wearing the green face scarves that some protestors have taken to wearing. The latter works are titled "Protestors of Pen," and presumably support free speech. Other large versions of A1one’s creature have been spotted holding up signs that state "Where is my vote?" All the images can be seen on the artist’s Flickr photostream, which also features some vivid images from the recent street protests in the Iranian capital."