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About Farhad Moshiri

Drawing equally from Eastern and Western traditions, Iranian artist Farhad Moshiri is best known for his technically exquisite, conceptually rich paintings. “A picture is worth a thousand words and a word a thousand pictures,” he says. Drawing inspiration from Pop Art, Moshiri paints icons of Western consumerism, popular culture, and Middle Eastern artifacts and vessels, mashed up with Farsi calligraphy and the opulent aesthetic of historical Persian art. Moshiri is as critical as he is humorous; the aim of his practice is to call out cultural divides just as much as it is to break them down. “Irony allows you to be playful without being too militant about your opinions,” he says. One of his iconic paintings is Eshgh (Love), a 2007 canvas dominated by the Farsi word for “love”—one of the purest commonalities across religions and cultures. However, by crafting the word in hundreds of Swarovski crystals, Moshiri’s cynicism is palpable: what is love in this age of mass consumerism and material desire?

Iranian, b. 1963, Shiraz, Iran, based in Tehran, Iran