Artist Spotlight: Farhad Moshiri


Farhad Moshiri work acquired by the Tiroche Deleon Collection 

Born in Shiraz, Iran, and having lived in the USA for 12 years, Moshiri developed a personal language juxtaposing 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 sparkly, luxurious materials such as pearls, crystals, sequins, and gold leaf. Though his work appears to be playful and decorative, beyond the shimmering surfaces Moshiri casts a more cynical — and often critical eye. He addresses the flaws of contemporary Iran whilst toying with its traditional forms; he acknowledges the appeal of the Western world in addition to its limitations.

Farhad Moshiri, comfort, 2013, Knife installation, 110X350 cm

In return, the contemporary art world has embraced his work.He is the first contemporary Middle Eastern artist to have sold a work for 1 million USD at auction.At Christies’ April 2013 Dubai sale of Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish art, Secret Garden, a work from 2009, achieved the highest price when it sold for almost 1 million USD, setting a new auction record for Moshiri.

Comfort is a work composed of knives - objects that by their very nature present a poignant association with violence. The installation exhibits beautifully rounded letters compiled of an array of some 294 knifes plunged into the wall. Moshiri supervised the installation standing in front of a time-lapse camera that clicked every few seconds. The juxtaposition of contrasting elements in the medium and the title “Comfort” - defined as a condition or feeling of pleasurable ease, well being, and contentment - is intrinsic to this work, and in fact to Moshiri's entire oeuvre.

A similar knife work by Moshiri, Life is Beautiful, has also been acquired by The Pinault Collection and was previously shown at the Palazzio Grassi in Venice.