Art And Culture

Takhti Reborn in Artistic Perspectives

Sports, Art & Culture Desks
Takhti Reborn  in Artistic PerspectivesTakhti Reborn  in Artistic Perspectives

In a matter of just four hours, over 4000 art fans paid a visit to the exhibition of ‘The World Champion’ displaying artworks on the national wrestling icon Gholamreza Takhti, which was inaugurated Friday (Jan 2) at Shirin Gallery in Tehran.

The works of 115 artists are presented in various media including paintings, sculptures, and photos. The huge welcome by people in different age groups and social class indicate that if done properly, artistic activities on any substantial issue, whether national, religious, or sports, have the potential to attract vast public attention.

Attending the opening night were a number of officials, actors, artists, and veteran athletes along with the huge number of art fans who came to see the works created by some well-known veteran artists as well as newcomers on the subject of one of the most famous sports personality in the country, whose fame came not from his honors and medals, but was rooted deep in his benevolence, humanitarian activities, and respect for national-religious values.

Traditional singer Maestro Shahram Nazeri, Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs in Legal, Parliamentary and Provincial Affairs Amir-Reza Khadem, Head of Visual Arts Foundation and Tehran Contemporary Arts Museum Majid Molla-Nowroozi, veteran artists Ebrahim Haghighi and Abbas Mashhadizadeh, deputy of Research Institute for Cultural Heritage and Tourism Ahmad Mohit-Tabatabai, veteran athlete Mohamadreza Taleghani and young actor Saber Abar were among the people who visited the exhibition on the opening day.


Exhibition curator Arash Tanhai, in an interview with Financial Tribune, talked about his background in art and the motivation “to undertake such a great task of encouraging over 100 artists to work on one special subject.”

Having studied graphics at ‘Maleke Ashtar’ technical school, Tanhai continued with drama as his major in the Tehran University of Fine Arts. For years his field of work has been graphic designing. He has designed posters for a number of plays and films and has won a couple of awards including at the Fajr Theater Festival.

Since last year, he decided to work as a curator, to collect artworks on the subjects he had always been interested in. His first exhibition centered on the late Iranian female poet Forough Farrokhzad titled ‘Of Today’s People’.

Having coined the phrase “Human Landscapes of This Land”, Tanhai says: “among notable figures who I thought can be of value and interest for various artists with different attitudes and style, I chose Takhti who represents a typical Iranian with all the humane traits which are, in fact, the characteristics of our culture.”

Expressing regret that there was no support by any state or private organization, he said he was expecting that help would be forthcoming for such an innovative cultural activity, “but unfortunately there were no sponsors” and all the work was done by himself.

  National Hero

Pointing out that “there is no definite source for gathering information on Takhti,” he said establishing a ‘House of Takhti’ or ‘Museum of Takhti’ can be a great step to collect all the existing sources and works about this national hero. “The outstanding collection here will not be available to the future generations as each piece will be bought by a different individual and go to a separate place.”

The artworks displayed at the exhibition along with the book containing all the works with descriptions related to their creators are on sale for art lovers and especially fans of Takhti.

Gholamreza Takhti (1930-1968) was an Iranian Olympic Gold-Medalist Wrestler and Varzesh-e-Bastani (ancient heroic sport) practitioner. He was the most popular athlete of Iran in the 20th century and is still venerated by many Iranians. He is listed in the FILA wrestling Hall of Fame.

The exhibition is underway until January 14 at Shirin Gallery at No. 5, 13th Alley, Sanaee St., Karimkhan Zand Ave, Tehran.