Davood Koochaki

DAVOOD KOOCHAKI was born in 1939 in a rice-growing region in northern Iran. His family was very poor and they had to work their landowner’s fields. Koochaki too had to begin to work when he was just seven. He only taught himself to read and write later on. At the age of thirteen, he decided to leave his family for Teheran, where he hoped to make a better life. (Via Christian Berst)

BORN: 1939, Iran

DIED: June 20, 2020, Iran

DAVOOD KOOCHAKI Untitled (2017-2018) via Cavin-Morris Gallery
DAVOOD KOOCHAKI Untitled (2019) via Cavin-Morris Gallery
DAVOOD KOOCHAKI Untitled (2019) via Cavin-Morris Gallery

Davood Koochaki received no formal education, his literacy was limited to signing his name, and all his knowledge and achievements were experimental. He ran away from home when he was only twelve. At the age of 40, he started doodling on waste papers, phonebooks and his children’s exercise books, first out of curiosity, as a hobby and a playful outlet to express himself. It was only after his retirement in his mid-sixties that drawing became a serious pursuit and he went on to create prolifically. A fascination with humans, animals, and mysterious, deformed, monstrous creatures are evident in his works. Tiny as they are, his works show a powerful expressiveness inspired by his tragic life. Davood’s main artistic concern is to represent and record the troubles and traumas constantly tormenting his soul; thus, unless they explore each and every one of these images inspired by the realities of his actual life, the audience can only arrive at an open, undecided reading of his works. Nicknamed “l’Homme de Crayon” (the Pencil Man) in France, he is currently one of the most well-known Iranian outsider artist in international circles. His works have been published in two volumes by Christian Berst Gallery, and are part of many renowned private collections. Davood Koochaki’s works reveal the painful dynamics of art and reality, reflecting an attitude shaped by mental obsessions and spiritual crises of an eagerly creative and original human being. He is a paradigm of a vitalizing force in society. 

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