Art And Culture

Caricaturist Rafi Ziaee Dies

Caricaturist Rafi Ziaee DiesCaricaturist Rafi Ziaee Dies

Prolific caricaturist and theoretician Mohammad Rafi Ziaee, 68, passed away on Thursday of heart failure.

His funeral procession started from the Iranian Artists Forum in Iranshahr Street before his burial at the Artists Section of Behesht-e-Zahra Cemetery in south Tehran, Friday.

Ziaee has left behind thousands of caricatures in various magazines including ‘Hezar-Qesseh’, ‘Cartoon for Children,’ ‘Gol-Aqa,’ Keyhan Caricature, ‘Khorjin’ and ‘Pilban’.

He also wrote hundreds of articles in his area of expertise. For children he authored over 25 books. Several books by satirists and humor writers were illustrated by his skillful hands.

He won the special award at Skopje World Gallery of Cartoons 1999, Macedonia. A bronze plaque and diploma of honor from Tolentino Caricature contest 2003, Italy, and second prize from Olense Kartoenale Annual Cartoon Contest 2004, Belgium, were his other achievements.

Despite all Ziaee did, he kept a low profile. “People seem to have appreciated him less than he deserved,” a fellow cartoonist Hadi Heydari told ISNA.

“We should have praised his 30-year efforts before we lost him. He should have felt there are people who read his works and enjoy them. I got to know him in 1994, when I started to work for Gol-Aqa magazine. He was a resourceful man and I consider him as my master. He taught me many things.”

His works have a bitter humor. They are in black and white, with dense, punctuated hachures. Peace and humanity were his main concerns, as can be observed in most of his works, Heydari said.