Feb 08, 2018 09:22 UTC

Visual arts have grown spectacularly after the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Graphics and murals are two branches of the visual arts which have thriven very much during the past four decades.

Graphics, particularly poster designing can be called the art of the revolution. Reviewing the early samples of designing in Iran shows that the art of graphics entered Iran just with the purpose of consumption and propaganda. Hence, there are few works of the pre-revolution era which can be considered as artistic works. But, in the days of the Islamic Revolution even ordinary people began drawing pictures of the nationwide epic of the revolution on the walls of cities and placards of demonstrations. For sure, these works had artistic value. Most of these works had religious and revolutionary themes. However, most of them observed the points which are stressed in the Islamic and Iranian culture. In other words, they were devoid of any insult and they just lambasted the monarchic, colonialist and capitalist systems. Another reason for considering the post-revolution graphics as a prevalent art is its popularity. Martyr Morteza Avini, who is a role model for the revolutionary artists, says why graphics has been a popular art after the Islamic Revolution. He writes, "Among the common arts, graphics has really been able to accompany the Islamic Revolution and its historical course and sympathize with the people. Just as graphics has been able to answer to the hegemonic and anti-human goals of oppressors, superpowers and the enemies of the revolution, it has been capable of accepting the admonishing messages of the Islamic Revolution, too. The audience of graphics were the people, the masses and this is its inseparable feature."

In addition to graphics, the movement of murals was another real manifestation of the art of the Islamic Revolution which sought its aesthetic structure according to the belief and relation with people. In the early years after the revolution, this movement tried to express its religious and national principles in a simple way in the form of a visual language. For the artists of this movement, it was more of a religious duty and resistance against social and cultural abnormalities rather than a way to demonstrate a modern form in visual arts. Therefore, as there are various definitions of duty and resistance among different nations, the art of revolution, too, found its specific duty and structure as it was inspired with the religious principles of resistance and struggle in Iran.

In terms of aesthetics, the murals of the Islamic Revolution era can be categorized in two groups: The first group were the murals that were created in the heat of the popular struggles and a few years after the triumph of the Islamic Revolution. This group of the murals were done in three forms: the murals which were a combination of the images of Imam Khomeini and the caricatures of Shah along with fists, rifles and tulip. The second group of murals consists of the images of martyrs which can be considered a novel move in the popular art. This move has benefited from modern arts and, through these artistic elements and technology, has created lofty works which manifest the true art of the ordinary people and the oppressed and downtrodden throughout the world.