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Born 1940

Tehran, Iran


Ali Golestaneh’s painting career started in the faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran in 1960. His progressive artworks were objected to by his professors and he was discharged from the faculty. He moved to England in 1969 where he was working as a designer and illustrator in the Publications Department of the Royal Automobile Club.

Fascinated by the beauty of the human body and people’s portraits, especially those of women, he has drew and painted a lot from live models, anybody who at some point crisscrossed his path as impulsive/spontaneously as a street passenger or long-time friends. He expands that the human body is beautiful and sacred, from the minute of birth to death, in any age. During his stay in Spain (1979 to 1987), he has done a significant number of art with colour pencils on paper in nature, people in the cafe, the beach or other places. Working with coloured pencil (which basically was chosen based on his challenging economic situation as the most available medium) remains with Golestaneh for many years to work with even after his return to Iran seven years later. Among them are a series of Tehran’s neighbourhoods as well as his travels in different cities in Iran. His very personal way of seeing nature: Less detail, more volume and no real colour.

Today he rarely works with colour pencils, but mostly with gouache and oil. Less likely for him to go out, sit and paint in the street or in nature (except for the short weekend trip to the beautiful valley of Talaghan, west of Tehran). He spends most of his time at his home/studio and paints his immediate and very real surroundings.

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