Shirin Neshat


Shirin Neshat, “Tooba Series”, 2002 (2006.39.2) (Cibachrome)


Shirin Neshat, “Passage Series”, 2001 (2006.39.1) (Cibachrome)

Shirin Neshat was born on this day in Qazvin, Iran.

Shirin Neshat received the 2002 Infinity Award in the Art category and the Spotlight Award (“honoring women seminal in visual arts, particularly photography or film”) in 2014.

The last three paragraphs of an interview from a New York Times series about visionary people:

“Art That Is Political and Personal”

But to be discovered, you had to be making compelling art, no?

It took me a while to take myself seriously. And I think that’s the preferable way. A lot of artists are at school, and they’re trying to have a career immediately after they graduate. I tell them, “You have to live a life and not make art because of the need of career.”

How do you define success?

I think the one thing I feel very proud about is that I’m very self-made. I came to this country alone, really, and I stood on my own two feet. And if the clock stops right here, I feel that I have achieved a great amount of my dreams.

How does your future look?

I’d still like to do more. I don’t feel like a failure, but I think I feel like I’m struggling all the time. Part of the reason I struggle is my own fault: I’m very ambitious, I do things in a very big way, I take a lot of risks. And because I’ve changed my medium, I feel like a beginner — I still feel like a young artist even though I’m not young. And that is the foundation of who I am. I’m still wanting to reinvent myself, and that basically is what keeps me on my toes and keeps me excited.

Shirin Neshat and Ted Loos, The New York Times, September 12, 2019

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