Top Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh, whose works were published in the world’s major newspapers and magazines such as New York Times and Spiegel, passed away in a Tehran hospital on Saturday after a severe battle with COVID-19. He was 79.
Born in Shiraz, Derambakhsh began his professional career by drawing cartoons for Tofiq, Iran’s most popular satirical magazine before the Islamic revolution, when he was only 14. Known for his talent to find obscure themes for his creations, Derambakhsh, worked as a cartoonist, a graphic designer, and an illustrator for over 60 years. Showcases of his cartoons in over 50 solo and 100 group exhibit in Iran and across the world and his cosmopolitan outlook on life in his artworks earned him international recognition.
In recognition of his artistic achievements, he was decorated by the French government with the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor Medal in 2014. His works are exhibited at museums in Tehran, Paris, Basel, Hiroshima, Istanbul, Warsaw, and several other cities worldwide.
He also published his works in several books, one of which is “Cats and Birds,” released by Karnameh Publications in Tehran in January 2021. The book contains a collection of his most recent paintings and drawings. Derambakhsh’s book “Visual Stories” containing a series of his simple cartoons, was published in 2017.
“Cartooning has occupied my entire life, and I think of it every single day. The cartoons and the lines might seem very simple at first glance, but I have put in years of effort to achieve this,” Derambakhsh said at a session organized at the Book City Institute to introduce the book. Derambakhsh won many awards at international competitions, including the grand prize of the Istanbul competition in 1990, the grand prize at Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun competition in 1998, and the grand prize of a Polish anti-war caricature contest in 2002.
In March 2020, Derambakhsh shared a collection of his cartoons on coronavirus with his fans on Instagram. As the cartoonist had said before, his cartoons reflected the coronavirus outbreak in the country. The new images also bore a small note giving warnings or recommendations to people to prevent coronavirus spread.
ZH Magazine has introduced him as one of the 100 most influential Iranian artists in the last century.