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On The Table Read, “the best arts magazine in the UK“, Raoof Haghighi educates about his belief in the significance of truth for Iran’s future, particularly for Iranian women’s freedom, in his new exhibition in mid-April 2023.

Raoof Haghighi on The Table Read

Painting Is Like Breathing To Me

Raoof Haghighi’s mid-April London exhibition, “Painting Is Like Breathing To Me” investigates his graceful, no limits reaction to the limitations and mastery of his fellow nationals and brutal treatment of women. His drawings respond to decades of being denied speech by focusing on prohibited topics and communicating as freely as possible.

Raoof’s works have become a shining example of the Persian tradition of poets, artists, and philosophers because they express what those who remain in Iran are unable to say.

Raoof has increased his efforts ever since the Iranian government banned him from using Instagram, where he has 223,000 followers. At the Royal Institute of Portrait Painters, Raoof painted a portrait of a tattooed woman playing with her hijab in honor of “all the brave women in Iran who are currently fighting for their freedom.”

Adam and Eve by Raoof Haghighi on The Table Read
Adam And Eve

Adam And Eve

He also painted a portrait of actress and activist Golshifteh Farahani, hashtagged a drawing of a woman’s loose hair turning into wings with the hashtag #MahsaAmini, the woman who died in suspicious circumstances after being jailed for not covering her hair, adding to his “Adam & Eve” series, exposing the hypocrisy of forced veils.

Just Take Them And Leave Me Alone

The window piece titled “Just Take Them and Leave Me Alone” in the exhibition addressed the most raw emotion at the heart of the Iranian Women’s Rights movement. It shows a woman in a surreal situation who, after having her breasts and groin removed, is free of the abusive constraints or demands she was subjected to as a result of the male response to those parts of her body.

Just Take Them And Leave Me Alone by Raoof Haghighi on The Table Read
Raoof Haghighi

This drawing went viral after being shared more than 40,000 times on Facebook and receiving more than 36 thousand likes on Instagram.

It was posted on Reddit’s front page, where it received 2.6 thousand comments, including “This is haunting. Thinking the other night how I wanted to walk somewhere, but then changed my mind because we’ve had a lot of sexual assault in the area recently” and “Being reduced on your superficial sexual characteristics is sad, you are more than just appearance of skin, muscles and forms of your body.”

Raoof Haghighi

Raoof’s uncompromising attention to expressing his truth and its often cathartic effect on others, is testament to what we miss when the right to speech is taken away. Through Raoof Haghighi’s dedication to confronting the constraints and hostility of present reality, he hopes awareness will spread from his paintings, and perhaps some more of us may be able to breathe.

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Exhibition: “Painting is Like Breathing for Me” Artist: Raoof Haghighi Date: 6 – 15 April, 2023

Gallery: A Gallery Location: 2 Motcomb St, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8JU Web:

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