Born in tabriz, Iran in 1985 and 1991 respectively, street art siblings ICY and SOT began making work under less than hospitable conditions. initially influenced by the graffiti and stencils in skateboarding films and video games, the pair soon began making their own distinctive mark on the walls of their native city. speed and discretion often go hand in hand with creating unauthorised artworks but this is especially true in tabriz, where an unsympathetic and intolerant legal system often hands out charges much more severe than those usually associated with vandalism.
At home with the realities of state wide censorship and more than used to their artworks surviving for less than a few hours, political dissent and social protest is a vein that has run through the duo’s work since the beginning. in 2012, ICY and SOT took a solo exhibition of their work in new york as an opportunity to emigrate, leaving iran and relocating to the thriving brooklyn arts scene. since then, the duo’s work has gone from strength to strength, expanding into an ever more diverse number of mediums while retaining its rousing and defiant spirit of resistance through art.
the inspiration comes from nature; it’s where we always find peace and inspiration. it’s so sad to see the planet crying now. there have been so many unusual natural disasters recently. we need to respect our planet now more than ever. we have destroyed so much of it already that we can’t repair or even stop. but we can give the planet a longer life, by caring more about it and doing something. the impact might be small but if all of us try we will have a better chance.