The Iranian-born and financier started collecting in 2004 during a travel to his homeland. At the time, his first acquisition was a work by Sirak Melkonian that he bought for only $500.
According to Mohammed Afkhami, art is a family affair as his mother and grandfather compiled one of the most significant private collections of calligraphy in Iran.
His own collection totals about 600 pieces of art, mostly gathering works by Iranian contemporary artists including Shirin Neshat, Farhad Moshiri, Parvis Tanavoli and Anish Kapoor. In 2017, some of his artworks were on display at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto for the exhibition “Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians”, focusing on works which exemplify the main discursive ingredients of Iranian contemporary art: gender, politics, religion, and spirituality.
Mohammed Afkhami is a founding member of the British Museum’s Middle East and North Africa Art Acquisition Committee, a member of the Guggenheim Museum’s Middle East and North Africa Art Acquisition Committee, and serves on the advisory board of Art Dubai.
Today, he is highly renowned for his contribution to the promotion and preservation of modern art from the Middle East.