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Studio Sunday: Shirin Neshat

A photo of Shirin Neshat at work in her studio


In today’s Studio Sunday, we’ll look at the studio of Shirin Neshat. Neshat was born in Iran and later moved to the United States to study at UC Berkeley, before relocating to New York, where she is now based. The artist’s work explores themes of Iranian and western identity, the Muslim faith, and public versus private through photography and video.


The artist’s studio is located in her home, a loft in New York’s SOHO district. The space appears bright and airy, with clean, white walls, and plenty of space. The artist’s work space here seems quite neat as well. As we saw in our feature of Neshat’s stark yet stylized artworks, many of the artist’s works are made by scrawling Persian calligraphy over photographs using ink brushes – this appears to be what Neshat is working on in this photo.


I like the selection of brushes that the artist has in front of her. Rather than using empty tin cans or yogurt containers like I often see in artist’s studios, Neshat has her brushes collected in beautiful vases and cups. It lends the materials an almost ceremonial look that’s an interesting aesthetic for the studio.


The wall behind the artist is adorned with rows of photos, perhaps studies or references, or perhaps works in progress. These images, too, are affixed in a very neat grid and lend to the sense of organization that’s prevalent in the studio space. The shelf below this wall looks like it’s filled with more supplies – perhaps ink, more brushes, and what looks like a printer.


Neshat is renowned for her works which present thoughtful images of Iranian culture, and in particular, notions of femininity and feminism in relation to Muslim ideology and traditions. The artist has been awarded several times for her works in addition to being granted an honorary professorship at the Universität der Künst in Berlin.

[image source]

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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