A photo of Babak Ganjei stood in front of one of his artworks. Babak stands at the front of the shot, and only his eyes and curly dark hair can be seen peering above. In the background is a neon artwork, which says 'Imagine if this were a neon'

Babak Ganjei: The Outsider

22 Feb 2022

In a new five-part series of films, we examine how the art of breaking rules is critical to artistic practice. In the third film in the series, we invited Babak Ganjei to share his darkly comedic practice and self-professed sitcom lifestyle.

Rebellion has always been at the heart of pioneering artistic practice. For the past 82 years Beano has been right there too, inspiring generations to discover the possibilities of creativity – incidentally the topic of our current exhibition Beano: The Art of Breaking the Rules. The exhibition shares original comic drawings alongside works from leading artists and designers, imbued with the same Beano spirit of rebellion.

With the help of artists featured in the exhibition, we wanted to explore how creatives are harnessing that rebellion. Enter Babak Ganjei, an artist that lives and works in London, and whose practice embraces humour at every turn (Ganjei notably once tried to sell a painting of his credit card back to Barclays for the value of the debt. It didn’t work but he made a “friend”.)

Known for his idiosyncratic, text-based paintings, which have come into their own on Instagram, his works are ‘an inner monologue that isn’t an inner monologue anymore’. At the request of the filmmakers, Babak made his own film on why he questions authority. After all, sometimes you need to find new ways of seeing things or doing things and that requires a little bit of rebellion. 


Director: Radford Nicholls
Shot by: Babak Ganjei 
Additional Photography: Radford Nicholls
Editor: Jacek Zmarz
Grade: Jack Kirkby Newman
Executive Producer: Eleanor Scott

Watch more

Rebecca Moss: The Art of Mischief


Simeon Barclay: Defying the Norm