Successful Visual Artist
Hijri 1376-Present (AH); Common Era 1957-Present (CE)
Shirin Neshat is a well-known Iranian artist whose work addresses women in Islam. Neshat was born in Iran into an upper middle-class family. She attended a Catholic boarding school in Tehran, then moved to Los Angeles at age 17 to study art. She returned to Tehran, but moved back to the United States a year after the 1979 Iranian revolution, this time to the San Francisco Bay area. She eventually enrolled at the University of California at Berkeley, from which she earned a B.A., an M.A, and a Masters of Fine Art. After graduating, Neshat moved to New York, where she began to work as an artist. Her first project, “Women of Allah,” was inspired by a visit to Iran in 1990, where she saw firsthand what drastic changes had occurred since she had left ten years before. “Women of Allah” is comprised of a series of portraits of Muslim women overlaid with Persian calligraphy. Neshat has also created short films and sound installations, and she won first prize at the 1999 Venice Biennale for her installation, “Turbulent.” Since then, she has worked on a few short films, as well as a feature-length film based on Shahrnush Parsipur’s novel, Women without Men. Neshat continues to exhibit her work in both solo and group exhibitions around the world.