Gay artists Francis Bacon and Bahman Mohasses to be exhibited in Tehran
Gay artists Francis Bacon and Batman Mohasses are having a collection of their artwork displayed in a Tehran museum.
The artists work have gone on display in the Iran capital at the museum of contemporary art after being unearthed from the cellar where the work was being stored.
The Irish and Iranian pieces were bought by the museum before the 1979 revolution, and have remained there since.
The pieces of art were due to be shipped to Berlin and Rome to be displayed for the first time outside of the country. However, plans for the exhibitions were cancelled after Iranian artists protested they eventual fate of the work.
Mohasses and Bacon, who have both passed away, were prominent gay artists and the museums move to feature their work is bold given that homosexuality is punishable by death in Iran.
The country rarely discusses or acknowledges Mohasses’ sexuality, and his work has been destroyed by authorities in the past.
Iranian painter Nicky Nodjoumi told the Guardian about the artists sexual identity and the impact it had on his work.
“He followed his instinct to portray the suffering of humanity according to what he was feeling, rather than depicting the benign decorative Islamic motives.
“No doubt his being gay influenced his art – most of his paintings are figurative, the majority of [his] paintings are nude men in a orgy situation.”
Mitra Farahani, an Iranian film-maker, added that the artist was “proud” about being gay.
“Being homosexual did not have anything to do with him being reclusive, it was the opposite – he was proud of his sexuality and lived it fully,” she said.