Iran opens first museum dedicated to female artist


Museum to display works by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, who gained international acclaim during years of exile

The Guardian: Iran has opened its first museum dedicated to a solo female artist – Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, who has received widespread international attention during decades of exile.

The nonagenarian doyenne of Iranian art and friend of Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, had her first US solo museum exhibition at the Guggenheim in New York in 2015.

On Friday, the Monir Museum opened in Tehran at the historic Negarestan park gardens. It displays 51 works, including her signature mirror mosaics, abstract monotypes and reverse glass paintings, inspired by geometric patterns germane to ancient Iranian architecture, particularly those seen in mosques.

Many of Farmanfarmaian’s works were confiscated and destroyed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. She spent most of her career in the US, only permanently returning in 2004.

All the pieces on display in the museum have recently been donated by Farmanfarmaian to its permanent collection, which is managed by Tehran University.

“All my inspiration has come from Iran – it has always been my first love,” Farmanfarmaian told the Guardian from Tehran on the eve of the opening. “When I travelled the deserts and the mountains, throughout my younger years, all that I saw and felt is now reflected in my art.”

Farmanfarmaian said she gifted her works because she wanted to honour her last husband, Abolbashar Farmanfarmaian. “[He] was a law professor at the University of Tehran, and so I gifted them 51 pieces – this museum is now the first for a female artist in Iran,” she said.

Her works, some of which have been acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Tate Modern, combine complex geometric patterns seen in traditional Persian art with western modern abstraction and expressionism >>>

Too many beers

In the main square.

Mohammad Ali Esfahani offers exotic carnivorous plants

Tehran Times: With grand aspirations of becoming a successful entrepreneur, Mohammad Ali Esfahani has ventured into the field of commerce by operating a unique online store that offers exotic carnivorous plants, for sale.

These plants get their nutrients from trapping and consuming flesh of insects.

Graduated with bachelor’s degree in industrial mathematics from the University of Sharif, his business is a far cry from math, which suggests an imagination well beyond mathematics.

This true business idea man, now 25, grew up in the flourishing city of Karaj, about an hour from the capital, Tehran.

About seven years ago, Esfahani, who was 18 years old at the time, visited a charity bazaar in Tehran where he stumbled across insectivorous plants.  The precocious teenager had always been intrigued by the nature’s strange and outlandish creatures and hence was compelled to purchase a number of these florae, along with their seeds to cultivate at home.

Much to his chagrin, the seeds failed to germinate, but he remained fascinated by carnivorous plants when he travelled to Australia to visit his sister. 

As fate would have it, he had picked the right time to be in Melbourne where flowers were in full bloom.

This true business idea man walked into a plant shop and found himself surrounded by the intriguing carnivorous florae he had come across in Tehran, and consequently, acquired a number of them, along with their seeds in hope of growing them in Iran. 

Once he was able to get them past customs at Tehran’s international airport, which adheres to strict guidelines as to what is imported to the Islamic state, he was determined to succeed in fostering the growth of these precious plants.

Esfahani noted that the plants were very delicate and required constant care and nurturing. They appeared to be sensitive to very low humidity and high temperatures. However, over time he learned the ins and outs of proper care and later acquired the skills to grow his own collection and offer them for sale.

Eventually, the idea to open his own business entered his mind.

Esfahani, who is also a Persian classical music vocalist, was mocked and discouraged by his peers, but the negative reception he received from his friends did not deter him. He moved ahead with the plan to launch a business with a close friend, Sina Meysami, who is also a composer and musician.

One must wonder if the bizarre flesh eating plants he sells might also sing to lure their insect prey in to their traps!

The partners decided to generate revenue through the sale of these plants in order to pursue their passion, that being music.

Esfahani confessed they had no idea how to begin the business, but one thing he was sure about:

“I knew in my heart we would have good sales even though we didn’t really know what we were doing.”

In the last quarter of 2014, operating from the basement of his parent’s house, the entrepreneur managed to make a good profit in sales: “One customer ordered 2 million tomans ($500) of the plants in a single order,” said Esfahani >>>

Did you miss me?

I had gone to Mexico for a week. Nice to be back. 

So simple

Christmas decorations, Plaza de Armas. 

Murdering an Iranian physician

Ahmadreza Jalali, is a medical doctor & scientist at the Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Medicine (CRIMEDIN) run by the University of Eastern Piedmont in Novara, Italy, and the Free University Brussels (VUB).

Islamist fascists invited him to Iran for a “conference” and then charged him with spying and detained him last year.

His attorney has just announced Doctor Jalali's  “death sentence” has been upheld by the Islamist fascists’ “ُSepreme court”.

POP ICONS: Johnny Hallyday and Sylvie Vartan visit Iran's Crown Jewels 1967

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By Mexican artist Idalí Calderón, at an art gallery in Monterrey yesterday.

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