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Hadi Farahani - An Insightful Cartoonist


By Syma Sayyah, Tehran


Once in a while I come across a wonderful exhibition and feel that I have made a new discovery for myself to realize that there are some very talented and reflective artists even though they are still young.  Such was my feeling last week as I casually walked into the Morteza Momayez gallery at the Artists Forum and saw the works of Hadi Farahani who is an accomplished and internationally known graphic artist.


What made me stop to look more intensely at his work was his inner understanding and sophisticated sense of humor.  His works have been published in many North American publications including New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.  Mr Farahani was educated in Tehran at the School of Visual Arts and at Tehran University, but for many years he has been living on the west coast of Canada.  He is visiting Tehran for a couple of months and many of his works are being shown in this exhibition.

Hadi Farahani is the youngest son in a family of five children and is very close to his family, and sadly recently his father passed away. Before leaving Iran, Hadi worked for many famous magazines such as Soruosh, Omid and the Sanat-e Hamlonaghal which is famous for its cartoons, as well as the newspaper Hamshahri.  In a telephone interview I asked him how he came to work for such high class North American publications in such a short time.  Hadi told me that his naivety, at the time,  of how the system works actually helped him and gave him the courage to persistently call the editors of these papers and insist on an interview; eventually after several weeks and for one reason or another he got an interview and then his works did the rest. Another factor that helped him a lot was the fact that his English was perfect without the usual Iranian accent which he said he owed to his great teacher Mr. Rezvani.


I found him, both on the telephone and in person, quite easy going and in tune with himself.  He practices yoga and enjoys rock, blues and world music.  Besides being such a good graphic artist and cartoonist, he plays guitar and his favorite food is (believe it or not) bread with cheese and walnuts, his favorite colors are red and orange which represent energy and he is not married. 




When I asked him what he missed most about Iran he said the chance to see his nieces and nephews grow up.  Like me he was touched by the Tim Robbins film The Shawshank Redemption and Monty Python, but he is also fond of The Simpsons, perhaps due to professional curiosity.



When I asked what he thought of his exhibition, he said it gave him a chance to get to know and communicate with many of the new generation of artists and art lovers.  For the rest, I let his work speak for itself.


Please visit Hadi Farahani's web site for more info:






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