Is one of the coolest urban art projects taking place in Iran right now?

Yes, absolutely, but unfortunately I haven't been there, just read about it.

If you have looked at urban residential buildings with a critical eye, you know the problem: It's that gigantic, four-, five-, six-, seven-storey wall without any windows, sometimes at a corner, sometimes abutting a vacant lot or soaring over a much smaller building and usually just plain white or, even worse, actually revealing the sloppy brickwork or poor quality stucco. In terms of urban design it is one of the most hiddeous features of a city.

Presumably they exist because the owner of such a place assumes that a building will be erected on the adjacent lot and saves the expense of windows and facade decoration. It is very understandable.

The problem is that in many cases no building is erected on these adjacent lots for 20-30-40 years. Generally they remain eyesores that you forget in the daily routine.

At times they get a little graffiti:

Manhattan wall                                                                                     (c) Perypatetik Media

Or nothing but evening light (except walls everywhere must get that):

Wall in Manhattan                                                                                                         (c) Perypatetik Media

Yet there are other options for these walls. Often some type of billboard or advertisement is permitted in wealthy areas. On very rare occasions, like along Canal Street you get some very orderly sponsored art, but there is essentially nothing in Manhattan like this in London:

East London street                                                                    (c) Perypatetik Media

But the place that really stands out in terms of wall art is ... Teheran. Here you get it on a massive scale with a degree of complexity unknown in New York.

The Iranian artist and designer Mehdi Ghandyanloo has been painting enormous murals on walls - with the explicit approval of the city administration - and who wouldn't approve them.

Take a look, they are spectacular: 

Angelika Friedrich

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