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