Farhad Moshiri


Living between Tehran and Paris, Farhad Moshiri has developed a personal language in which he discusses commonalities in Iranian and Western cultures. Inspired by Pop art, Moshiri overturns both pop culture and highbrow imagery by transforming it into figurative artwork. His pieces are made using everyday objects as well as luxurious materials such as pearls, crystals, sequins, and gold leaf. Although his practice appears as playful and decorative, Moshiri offers a critical narrative beyond the shimmering surfaces. He addresses the flaws of contemporary Iran all while toying with its traditional forms, and acknowledges the appeal of the Western world in addition to its limitations.


Moshiri began experimenting further with materials that comprise everyday found objects – skillfully layering such materials as cake icing dispensers, embroidery, Swarovski crystals, and even assortments of kitchen knives to make works that incorporate increasingly textured and sculptural approaches. His use of such materials continues to demonstrate his ability to surpass the confines of pure aestheticism with playful irreverence and layered meaning. In his usual subdued impertinence, Moshiri deploys his mastery of Iranian visual vernacular, as well as an acute awareness of popular culture and art history, to evoke pertinent issues of our times. Through ‘candy’ colors and hybrid materials in paintings and installations, he plays with the codes of modernism while developing a flamboyant iconography.


Moshiri’s first solo museum exhibition Go West opened at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh in October 2017. Other solo exhibitions include First Snow, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria (2018); Snow Forest, Galerie Perrotin, New York, USA (2017); Float, Galerie Perrotin, New York, USA (2014); My Flower, Hyundai Gallery, Seoul, South Korea (2014); Shukran, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2011); Love is Not Everything, Farjam Foundation, Dubai, UAE (2011); and Nothing Serious, Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria (2010).


Moshiri’s recent group exhibitions include There Is Fiction In The Space Between, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2020); Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA (2017); Heaven and Hell. From Magic Carpets to Drones, Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium (2015); One Way: Peter Marino, Bass Museum, Miami Beach, FL, USA (2014); Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian and Turkish Artists, Museum of Anthropology, Vancouver, Canada (2013); Love Me, Love Me Not: Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its neighbours, The 55th International Art Exhibition (Collateral Event), Venice Biennale, Italy (2013); The World Belongs to You, François Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy (2011); Iran Inside Out, Chelsea Art Museum, New York, NY, USA (2009); and Words Into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East, British Museum, London, UK (2006).


Moshiri also participated in the 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art at the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia (2009) and in the 6th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE (2003).


His works are housed in the collections of The British Museum, London, UK; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar; the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, USA; and François Pinault Collection, Palazzo Grassi, Venice, Italy.