Reza Shafahi (b.1940, Iran) has been a professional wrestler all his life and witnessed the revolution in Iran first hand. He started painting at the age of 72 and his whimsical works quickly drew the attention of prominent curators around the world. His influences are varied and include literature, Khayyam poems, cinema and world news, past and present. A distinct drawing practice ensued and Shafahi has developed a signatory drawing style that brings together an otherworldly fascination capturing the fantastical and erotic. His work draws from the imagination and from beings that exist in the realm of dreams. His work has been exhibited in Magic of Persia (Dubai), Marlborough Chelsea Gallery, New York, SpazioA Gallery in Pistoia and the Erratum Galerie, Berlin. In 2019, he was part of "City Prince/sses" exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.
One of the most influential American art critics Jerry Saltz highlighted Reza Shafahi’s works on July 15th, 2019. Jerry Saltz is the senior art critic and columnist for New York Magazine. Formerly the senior art critic for The Village Voice, he received the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2018 and was nominated for the award in 2001 and 2006.