TEHRAN. (Iranart) –Iranian art behind the wall of sanctions. I wish Iranian art was banned very clearly and directly. Because perhaps it would push the last three governments to wake up and taking steps to improve arts in this country; Driven from here, left from there has become the story of Iranian art that you get depressed in any part of it, theater, music, books or cinema…
These days, there are a lot of news about the extraordinary sales of Iranian art in Christie's, Sotheby's, and Bonham's auction houses; however, this news does not indicate that none of these works will be transferred from Iran to Dubai or Europe. 100% of the works presented in these auctions will be provided from outside Iran.
Yes, despite the fact that none of the sanctions mentions Iranian art and the so-called art is not subject to sanctions, but the auctions because of the risks of exchanging money with Iranians, They have completely restricted the receipt of works from Iran and only accept works from owners who live abroad.
The fact that the work is not owned in Iran is so crucial for auctions that they ask providers of Iranian works to prove through a postal address or even a water and electricity bill that they reside in a country other than Iran and have a valid foreign bank account number.
Some authors say that this is a process that began in President Obama's period, June 2010, and even in the first three years of JCPA (before the US withdrawal) due to disruptions in the Swift banking system, it could not open. They remind that with the seriousness of the sanctions in those years, receiving some demands of artists and owners of works was delayed for several months, and therefore, the owners of works and artists left international market place forever. Naturally, in the last three years, with the intensification of President Trump's sanctions, no trace of Iran has ever been able to be offered at international auctions, and what is being offered in Europe and Dubai these years is from outside Iran, especially the owners of Iranian works in Canada, The United States, and two cities; Paris and London. But until 2010, international auctions paid money directly to the accounts of art owners in Tehran and other Iranian cities.
But a number of art dealers say: The situation of art trade in the last three years is like a dead-end that has closed all the doors of the deal; They point out that even the Obama-era sanctions, which were accompanied by a global consensus, did not create conditions like today, and that art could still be traded cleverly, and if the owner had a credible account in the West, he could. Make a deal, which in recent years is quite impossible.
The closure of international exchanges in the domestic art market of Iran, in addition to completely stopping the foreign exchange process, made the volume of art transactions that have been reaching the levels of a booming market in the last decade became smaller than ever.
Many galleries were born with the same international financial incentives and brought with them emerging buyers, whose numbers are dwindling today;
In fact, the bigger damage is the phenomenon of the impact of sanctions on Iranian art, which directly affected the artists' table, this shows the decrease in the motivation of investors in works of art; The majority of collectors and buyers of works of art entered the art trade with the desire to buy in Rials and sell in dollars, and in the meantime, in addition to investing on famous names, they had an eye on younger generation. However, by stopping the submission of works to foreign auctions, this process does not have the dynamism of the past. Following this downward trend, the corona umbrella on earth and sky stagnated the new art market of Iran in the international arena.
That is why I wish Iranian art was banned very clearly and directly. Because perhaps it would push the last three governments to wake up and taking steps to improve arts in this country; Driven from here, left from there has become the story of Iranian art that you get depressed in any part of it, theater, music, books or cinema…
Add to this such a complex situation that if President Joe Biden decides to return to JCPA with the lifting of all sanctions, the art market may see positive momentum in terms of the psychological atmosphere, but the FATF's terrible shadow which the auctions of the art declared clearly that they are very sensitive to FATF and will not allow those owners living in Iran return to international art markets with such issue...
For the third time in a series of articles I write to mourn the difficult situation of Iranian art today: "The grievances are not limited to sanctions and the coronary conditions today, because the government is helpless to meet the basic needs of Iranians." The main grievance is related to the days when the price of oil was in the triple digits or the price of the dollar was not yet in the five digits, and the melted water could be returned to the atmosphere of art, and some believe that this was deliberately stopped; A clear example is the miserable budget of the government and parliament for art, which is six-tenths of one percent of the total budget in the country. This means that the share of art is not even one percent of the total budget of the country, and this six-tenths of a percent is shared by the people of culture and art with many other institutions and individuals, and incidentally, these days there is a heated debate in the art community.