Pioneering Film Poster Artist Qazi Falls on Hard Times

Manouchehr Qazizadeh, fondly known as “Qazi,” was one of Iran’s leading film poster artists before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Now destitute, he is forced to sell his oil paintings in the streets of Tehran, according to the Mehr News Agency.

Qazi began his career in the 1970s and was active through the decade that followed. During that period, he worked closely with other prominent movie poster artists including Bathaei, Shaqaqi, Dadashi, Sharafkan and Alizadeh, whose careers ended when printed posters replaced hand-painted ones.

Qazi also collaborated with a group of street muralists in the early 1970s. However, he wasn’t able to work outdoors on scaffolding for long periods of time. Consequently, he lost many of those commissions. At the age of 65, he is now reduced to peddling his work on the city’s sidewalks.

Qazi is one of hundreds of forgotten artists living in poverty. Qazi was recognized for his work at the 2012 Fajr International Film Festival. However, he has not received any financial assistance in the past five years. Qazi painted his last billboard for Iraj Ghaderi’s 1982 film “The imperilled.”

Despite the prevalence of digital photography and computer graphics, there has been a resurgence of hand-painted film posters and billboards in Iran in recent years.

The art of hand-painted movie posters returns to Tehran.