f a r h a d   m o s h i r i

Creator of a singular and multifaceted oeuvre inspired by the pop culture of post-revolutionary Iran, Farhad Moshiri (b. Shiraz 1963) is one of today’s best known and appreciated Middle Eastern artists. An ironic manipulator of tradition, of contemporary Iranian culture and its hybridisations with that of the west, Moshiri is fascinated by the aesthetics of cut-and-paste.
In a country like his which is undergoing a great metamorphosis, where public censure is countered by private spaces of autonomy and creativity, elements of the Persian tradition are combined with the widespread models of western consumerism. The ostentation of the shahs lives again in the unbridled super-kitsch luxury of the privileged classes while the rules and mortifications of the Islamic regime are overturned by a subterranean challenge of freedom and aesthetic “excesses”.
Moshiri’s original “fakes” draw sustenance from this amalgam: redundant items of furniture which, covered in gold leaf, become sculptures; tapestries hand-embroidered with beads and sequins in the Iranian tradition, but subverted by pop and modern subject matter; or again, traditional decorative elements that cover the canvas with thick backgrounds of colour, laid on like icing with pastry-cook’s utensils. 
Inspired by “shops, bazaars, by everything that is decorative and ornamental”, Moshiri ironically reworks cultural materials, refined and otherwise, traditional and modern, producing effects of surprise, vivacity and play. While at the same time revealing the complexity and unpredictability of the crossings, deviations, lines of continuity and break-up of cultural and artistic collective imaginations.
“I believe we are in the third stage on the crossroads of history and the future, religion and nanotechnology, war and peace and love and logic. We are in a euphoric limbo with plenty of roads to choose and we choose all, not wanting to sacrifice anything for the other. We want it all, even if it is superficial” (F. Moshiri).


Farhad Moshiri is one of the artists who take part to the group exhibition  State of Mind, curated by Paolo Colombo: artworks from Ebrahim Melamed collection suggesting a dialogue between Iranian and Western contemporary art. From 3rd April to 5th July 2009.

Farhad Moshiri is one of the artists who take part to the group exhibition Sicilia 1968/2008. Lo spirito del tempo, curated by Valentina Bruschi, Salvatore Lupo, Renato Quaglia, Sergio Troisi: an overview on the last forty years in Italy and Sicily through a selection of forty contemporary artworks collected in Sicily. From 20th February to 31st May.

Fahrad Moshiri at the 2nd Singapore Biennale 
Fahrad Moshiri, with Shirin Aliabadi, takes part in the 2nd Singapore Biennale, until November 16, 2008.