Shoja Azari, ‘Queen of Houries (The King of Black)’, Leila Heller Gallery

About Shoja Azari

Art and politics go hand-in-hand in Iranian-born, New York-based contemporary artist Shoja Azari’s films, videos, photographs, and hybrid paintings-cum-videos. Azari is steeped in the art, history, and politics of his native country, and he credits the 1979 Iranian Revolution with shaping his consciousness. In the artist’s words: “There was such a burgeoning of creativity and enthusiasm, and what was amazing was that there was no idea of career building; it was just like you were doing it for the good of humanity in the hope that you would arrive at the pinnacle of socialism and brotherhood.” Working individually and collaboratively with his creative and romantic partner Shirin Neshat, Azari confronts gender roles and piety, violence and politics, and Orientalism in his art—always with a mixture of humor, beauty, and pain.

Iranian, b. 1958, Shiraz, Iran, based in New York, New York