ROOM 2

Reza Shafahi
Dardedel

22 Oct. 2020 - 20 Dec. 2020







It’s the first time Reza’s work has been made available for any gallery in Belgium. We are very proud to be able to show the works of an artist of this international acclaim. This show is a continuation of Reza’s exhibition in Palais de Tokyo in Paris last year, and comes after his work has gained praise and recognition from art world heavy hitters like the illustrious New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz. His work has been exhibited in Magic of Persia (Dubai), Marlborough Chelsea Gallery (New York), SpazioA Gallery (Pistoia).







Born in 1940, Shafahi is a self-taught artist who started painting at the age of 72, after retiring from a successful career as a professional wrestler. He distills various influences in his work including the work of Omar Khayyam, cinematic archetypes, historical records, and current events. Painting psychedelic variations from loopy, brilliant acrylics of naked centaurs to coffee cups with breasts to faces double up on a single head, Reza has maintained a practice that is singularly motivated by his own imagination. There is a combination of innocence, sincerity, sexuality, and violence that recalls Forrest Bess. His work has gained praise and recognition from art world heavy hitters like the illustrious New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz. His work has been exhibited in Magic of Persia (Dubai), Marlborough Chelsea Gallery (New York), SpazioA Gallery (Pistoia), and the Erratum Galerie (Berlin). During the summer of 2019 he was a part of “City Prince/sses” at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, which was very well received and featured the same acrylic on canvas installation in the current show.


The title “Dardedel” is lifted from Iranian American professor Manoucher Parvin’s novel, Dardedel: Rumi, Hafez & Love in New York (The Permanent Press, 2003). The word, he goes on to explain, is translated to mean “heart-to-heart talk,” but it is much more than that. “Darde means ache. Del means heart. But put together they mean one and another sharing the most private, sincere and important things,” writes Parvin. “Dardedel unchains us from the burdens of our isolation and loneliness. By uniting our soul with another soul, our deepest thoughts and feelings are set free, without the shame of judgment or fear of betrayal. It is this absolute trust that makes dardedel so special and so sacred.”



“Artist Reza Shafahi did not have formal art school training. However, we are constantly struck by the honesty in his works where he paints from his own heart and mind. It may not be technically perfect like other academically trained artists. But it’s pure and real.”, noted curator Lexing Zhang. Reza’s works are Dardedel with himself and with us.



Persian poetry is the life blood of Persian (Modern Iran) culture. Westerners often find that characteristic Iranian intermixture of sensual and mystic sensibility hard to fathom. Verses of famous persian poets Hafez, Rumi and Saadi will be displayed alongside Reza’s psy- chedelic paintings. They remind us that life cannot be controlled and you can’t try to make sense of every- thing. We need imagination and we need fantasy. In Iran there are beggars in the streets armed with birds, they wait for passerby to predict his future: for a little cash the bird (yellow or green parakeet, the cleverest of birds) points with its beak at a folded or rolled-up paper that is handed to you, a verse by Hafez is written on it, this practice is called fal-e Hafez, the oracle of Hafez: We will emulate the oracle of Hefez in the gallery, see what the future is reserving.

Exhibition Catalog


Reza Shafahi




Reza Shafahi

The Bathers No.4 , 2020
acrylic on paper
50 x 70 cm

Price on Request. Inquire

Reza Shafahi

I have five things to say No.2 , 2019
acrylic on paper
46 x 62 cm

Price on Request. Inquire

Reza Shafahi

Saladin's generosity lights a candle in my chest , 2019 
acrylic on paper
46 x 62 cm

Price on Request. Inquire

Reza Shafahi

The bathers No.2 , 2019
acrylic on paper
80 x 62 cm

Price on Request. Inquire

Reza Shafahi

May your goodness always increase and your smiling face never cease, 2020
acrylic on paper  
70 x 50 cm

Price on Request. Inquire

Reza Shafahi

Friends, unlock the locks of the beloved's head, 2020
acrylic on paper
50 x 70 cm

Price on Request. Inquire

Reza Shafahi

The bathers No.3, 2020
acrylic on paper
50 x 70 cm

Price on Request. Inquire

Reza Shafahi

Master of the tavern caught us in the act each time we exhaled, 2020
acrylic on paper 
50 x 70 cm

Price on Request. Inquire

Reza Shafahi

Unfold your own myth No.6, 2020 
acrylic on paper
50 x 70 cm

Price on Request. Inquire

Reza Shafahi

The Bathers, 2020
acrylic on paper
50 x 70 cm

Price on Request. Inquire


Reza Shafahi

Princess Shirin, 2020
acrylic on paper
50 x 70 cm

Price on Request. Inquire

Reza Shafahi

Unfold your own myth No.8, 2020
acrylic on paper
50 x 70 cm

Price on Request. Inquire


Reza Shafahi

Reza Shahafi (b. 1940, Iran) is an Iranian artist, currently living and working in Teheran. In 2012 he started painting after a successful career in wrestling. His work has gained praise and recognition from New York magazine art critic Jerry Saltz. His work has been exhibited in Magic of Persia (Dubai), Marlborough Chelsea Gallery (New York), SpazioA Gallery (Pistoia), and the Erratum Galerie (Berlin). During the summer of 2019 he was a part of “City Prince/sses” at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.




Upcoming show:

23 Oct. - 20 Dec.2020

Opening Night: 23 Oct. at 19:00

Contact & Visit

Open Wednesday - Friday 12pm - 6pm
Saturday 11am - 7pm 
Sunday 1pm - 5pm