Reza Shafahi is a retired wrestler and keen gambler who, in Iran, heartland of pomegranates, fell in love with Persian poetry and started painting. His paintings are as complex as this seemingly simple description. They are inextricably intertwined with his culture and environment. His practice is inspired by poems, literature, cinema, television and everyday news… mirroring the ironies, paradoxes and ambiguities of the Middle East ingrained in the people of the region and to them only natural. A wrestler sensitive, in a male-dominated culture, to the complications and hardships faced by his women contemporaries, he transforms his response into the thousand branches of an overarching tree.