(Born on 12.20.1972 in Babol)
Esrafil Shirchi graduated from the College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran. He is a teacher at the Society of Iranian Calligraphists and calligraphy, culture, and art researcher.
Among the main elements of his works are practicing principles of calligraphy, Naghashi-khat [calligram], and Shekasteh Nasta’liq using small and big dip pens on 3 to 10-meter canvases, Nasta’liq siyah mashq, and his unique morghe bessmel [bird of bessmel] with tones of Iranian culture.
A large number of the works by this prominent and prolific artist have been printed in exquisite books such as Simayeh Rostam dar Shahnameh Ferdosi [Visage of Rostam in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh], Shahriyar Shahre Ghazal [Shahriyar of the City of Ghazal], Ta’ab-e Shekasteh [Broken Swing], Golbang-e Hafez [Hafez’s Note], Avaz-e Shaghayegh [The Song of Poppy], Tamashagah-e Rāz [The Prospect of Secret], Motreb-e Eshgh [The Minstrel of Love], Golestan-e Khat Iran [Iran’s Garden of Handwriting], and Soltan Sarir Sobhkhizan.
He has also conducted much research on art and artists, created novel and colorful posters and postcards, held numerous exhibitions in Iran and different countries, and worked as arbiter of international art festivals.
As a school student, he showed his gifted talent in painting and painted and practiced handwriting along with taking his lessons. He began calligraphy when he was seven with the beautiful poem of Abbas Yamini Sharif, “Ketab” [Book] and was admired by his teachers and others.
He believes that his parents played an important role in forming his love of art.
In 1976, when he was 14, he moved to Babol and joined the “Naghashan-e Azad” [Free Painters] group that included important painters like Ahmad Nasrollahi, Behrouz Amiri, and Rahim Molaeian. He painted along with the artists for years and like impressionist painters, he travelled with them to the villages around Babol to paint. They would collect the paintings in a place and in the evenings, they held criticism and review sessions. The best works were used for the exhibition at the end of every year.
As the youngest member of the group, Shirchi was very passionate about learning and developing his work. During 1976–77, when Ostad Gholam Hossein Amirkhani came to Babol, he joined the circle of Ostad Amirkhani and began calligraphy professionally and received lessons from Ostad Fallah.
In 1983, he became a teacher at the Society of Iranian Calligraphists with his different method of teaching. He mostly taught his students using the methods at the College of Fine Arts. During these years, he also received lessons from Ostad Kaboli. In addition, in his classes, he talked about the elements of poetry and music and the principles of visual arts. His classes had a spiritual atmosphere with poetry and recitation of Hafez’s Ghazals and references to the distinguished artists in Iran and in the world.
While he taught, Shirchi held several exhibitions in Tehran and other cities of Iran, making him a prolific, adventurous, and popular artist whose works entered homes, galleries, collections, and museums around the world.
Today, he has held more than 73 individual and 110 group exhibitions with highly eminent Iranian and foreign artists. In recent years, he has managed a lot of exhibitions and artistic gatherings, persisting in his love for the elevation of Iranian art and culture.