Writes by Morteza Momayez
Morteza Momayez by Others
Kari Piippo
Niklaus Troxler
Armando Milani
Pierre Bernard
Bruno Monguzzi
Ben Bos
Neshan Magazine
Farshid Mesghali / 2
Farshid Mesghali / 1
Rene Wanner

Ben Bos

Morteza and me
by Ben Bos

I wouldn’t know when exactly he made a start with our friendly connection. But I do remember how it all began: he sent me his ‘undated’ posterbook. I now see that the youngest poster in that book was from 1985. So I assume that our direct link will have started then. I thanked him for the nice look on that part of his works.

Morteza Momayez became a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI) in 1977, one year earlier than I. It may have been that we came across each other during some of the annual AGI congresses in the years that followed; but those meetings are crowded. In the list of AGI members 2000 he was still the only Iranian one. After that things changed and in 2001 and 2002 the Iranian membership grew.
Anyway, in 2002 we met him in Helsinki, where he showed up with quite an Iran delegation: ‘Momayez, friends and relatives!’. And there we really saw each other intensely. It was all very pleasant and interesting. At the closing dinner of the congress I remember the small, crowded dance floor in the old castle, Morteza dancing with my wife Elly. It came out that those were the last moments I saw this beautiful, sympathetic, great man.
Anthon Beeke and Alain Le Quernec went to Teheran in the following years and after some time they mentioned his illness that would later become fatal. Their pictures showed the dramatic effects on his looks. In my own life that awful illness had already taken its prey. That was still a subject I couldn’t really handle.
It was an enormous surprise when I received an invitation from the Momayez family to come over for the celebration of Morteza’s life and 70th birthday, at which he was The Missing Man. ‘Come to Teheran, together with Alain’. It took several visits to the Iran Embassy to settle my visa. I had made an appointment to meet Alain at Charles de Gaulle Airport to travel on to Iran. But my connecting flight was 1,5 hours late and I was given the wrong information about the gate to the Teheran plane. I had to sprint a few hundred meters to the check-in desk where they had been so kind to wait for me till the very last second…
At the Teheran steps of our plane we were met by all AGI Iran and Anoush Momayez. I still had my visa. But, once in my hotel room, I discovered that, with the sprinti in Paris, my billfold had fallen out of my pocket, so I found myself in Teheran with no cash, nor credit cards, nothing.
It soon proofed to be less dramatic, because the hospitality was incredible.
We got a chauffeur-driven car and the sweet student Yasmin to be our guide and to watch over us. We were taken to the House of the Arts where the international posters to commemorate Morteza were shown, together with an exhibition of works by Alain and myself. We both lectured twice for a great and sweet audience, met ‘All Teheran Design’ (and too soon forgot which name belonged to which picture). We went to Morteza’s country house and his grave. On the way back in his car Majid Abbasi and I sang every note ofthe Schuman’s Piano Concerto… We saw the wonderful works of 250 students. We were given a reception at the French cultural Embassy.
A fine evening at the Haghighi’s followed. And we had a farewell party at the Momayez home. I left with an extra suitcase containing 16 kilos of books… It was all absolutely unforgettable.