Both born in the 1980s, Iranian Street Artists Icy & Sot are equally fans and loyal students of all the stencil techniques that have characterized the western scene in the last decade. What’s fascinating in this story is that, despite creating work on the street since 2005, neither brother has been able to attend their own gallery show in person outside of Iran until this week in New York.
With a new sense of freedom and some new works for “Made in Iran”, the self taught Tabriz-based artists are riding the momentum that will take this show to Amsterdam, Berlin and Milan. The gallery work on display is similar to the variety of styles they have experimented with in streets of cities like Tehran, Paris, Turin, Istanbul, and even the rural Mazichal forest in Northern Iran. Thematically they wrestle between oppression, celebrity, freedom, war, and daring to dream.
MADE IN IRAN is a groundbreaking display of the internationally acclaimed street art duo, featuring new stencil works and site-specific installations. The exhibition will be open to the public from the 23rd to 25th of August at Openhouse, 379 Broome Street. An opening reception will be held on Thursday the 23rd of August from 6 to 9 PM with a live musical performance by the Iranian punk rock band Yellow Dogs (facebook.com/theyellowdogs).
Hailing from the city of Tabriz in North West Iran, brothers ICY AND SOT continue on their creative crusade to traverse pre-conceived perceptions of traditional Iranian art’s brevity through their highly intricate yet striking stencil artworks. Despite Iran’s cultural flourishing since the 2009 uprisings in Tehran, creative visual expression is still a constant struggle for its’ artists and society today. It is an oppressive force that provokes the Iranian art scene to fluctuate between an inhibited elegance and raw underground energy. This ambiguity is reflected in the vulnerable yet hopeful deep-set imagery of ICY AND SOT’s street art.
Using western street art approaches, the artists’ polarized themes of love and hate, war and peace, and hope and despair are manifested into the spectral faces of the innocent.