Since the 2009 uprisings in Tehran, the Iranian creative community hasn't had the easiest time of it whenever it chooses to question its government. Whether they stay or leave, a small yet flourishing underground art culture has emerged globally.
Icy and Sot "Merry X-mas" Brooklyn, New York, 2012
Two of the most prominent figures in that movement are brothers Icy and Sot, skaters and street artists from the city of Tabriz, in northwestern Iran, specializing primarily in stencil artwork. On March 14, they and their work will be paying a visit to Houston at Aerosol Warfare Gallery - another stop on their East Middle West Tour of four U.S. cities. Fellow Iranian rabble-rousers the punk rock band The Yellow Dogs are part of the excursion.
We recently spoke with Icy and Sot in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Tell us about the East Middle West Tour.
Icy: It's something we have been planning with The Yellow Dogs for a few months now, so it's exciting to be finally living it -- taking our art to a broader audience and spreading awareness. We will be introducing new work and also site-specific installations in each city, with live sets from The Yellow Dogs at each opening-night event.
Sot: It will be eight guys traveling 8,000 miles in a small van, but it has been and will be worth it. There are so many people that we have met online and corresponded with, but until now we have not been able to meet them face to face. So that's been really special, and we can't wait to meet more of those people in Houston and Chicago, and to also make new friends and earn new fans.More »