It would be difficult not to expect a swell of politically challenging creative work to emerge from Iran. But Raad O Bargh, or ’thunder and lightning’, a showcase of 16 up-and-coming contemporary Iranian artists at Paris’s Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, proves there’s far more to Iran than pure politics.

Park Hyatt Istanbul

See more work from the show

Varhid Sharifian, dubbed ’The Iranian Andy Warhol’ for his ’Papaist’ (an amalgamation of pop-art and Dadism) works, is showing a series of sculptures, including a parrot sporting a grotesquely over-sized human appendage. His uses of found objects, language play and humour channel the artistic spirits of Duchamp, Magritte and of course Warhol himself.
Other, more personal pieces also play their role in the show with Behrouz Rae’s intimate relief paintings - delving into the alter-ego and psyche for inspiration and Ala Behgan’s tiny yet captivating drawings.
All 16 of the artists included in Raad O Bargh have something new and fresh to offer. With sculpture, film and performance all given their place, this exhibition is nothing if not proof that the jewel of the gulf is still sparkling.