Farhad Moshiri - SNOW FOREST 007A, 2017 (detail)

Farhad Moshiri

Iran (islamic Republic Of) 1963

Installation, Sculpture, Painting

Farhad Moshiri
Farhad Moshiri
Iran (islamic Republic Of)
August 16, 2016

One of the most interesting Iranian artists today, Farhad Moshiri has developed his own artistic style in which he blurs the boundaries between Iranian and Western cultures. Drawing inspiration from pop and conceptual art, comics, classical portraiture, advertising and religious iconography, he creates witty but thought-provoking pieces using everyday objects such as household items as well as sparkly, luxurious materials including crystals, sequins, jewels, gold leaf, and pearls. Moshiri gained international recognition in 2008 when his stunning mixed media work Eshgh (Love) achieved an auction sale of more than one million dollars, making him the first Iranian contemporary artist to beat the six-zero mark.[1]

Farhad Moshiri contact gallery terms news 2013
Farhad Moshiri – Eshgh (Love), 2007 (Left) / Self-Portrait on a Flying Carpet, 2009 (Right)

USA and Return to Tehran

Born in 1963, in Shiraz, one of the most populous cities in Iran, Moshiri relocated to Los Angeles at the age of fifteen to pursue his further education. During his studies at the California Institute of the Arts, the artist encountered such names as Michael Asher, John Baldessari and Don Buchla.[2] At the same time, he experimented with a wide range of media including installations, video art and painting. Upon graduation in 1984, he spent several years in the US and returned to his native country in 1991. A decade after Moshiri came back to Tehran, he became internationally known for his large-scale oil paintings of jars and bowls that served as a metaphor for desire, life and memory.

The artist experimented with a wide range of media including installations, video art and painting

Farhad Moshiri 2007 contact gallery terms news line
Farhad Moshiri – God in Color, 2012

Knife Typography by Farhad Moshiri

Iranian artist uses a variety of techniques and materials in his practice, ranging from traditional Iranian embroidery to paint diffused through cake icing dispensers. One of his most famous installation to date was made using hundreds of variously colored kitchen knives to create some exquisite typography.[3] By sticking knives into the wall of Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in 2009, he spelled out Life is Beautiful in cursive creating a nice statement considering the fact that it is made of something that has the ability to destroy. I’m so fucking happy, Comfort, I got sunshine, Paradise and Run like hell are some of his similar knife works that spell out creative and thought-provoking messages.

By sticking knives into the wall of Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in 2009, he spelled out Life is Beautiful

Farhad Moshiri 2007 contact line 2013 terms news
Farhad Moshiri – Life Is Beautiful, 2009

The Leading Iranian Artist

Recognized for his ironic pieces of art that represent hybrids between traditional Iranian forms and those of the globalized pop culture widespread in his country, Moshiri’s artworks are often very fantastical, but at the end, they have a cynical and sarcastic note as the punch line. In all of his works, Moshiri provides the viewers with a message that might seem witty and amusing at first sight, but after a closer inspection, it succeeds in raising discussion in a western, middle-eastern and global context. He has participated in numerous group and more than twenty one-man exhibitions at such places as Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Hong Kong and Paris, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Salzburg, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen in Brussels, Daneyal Mahmood Gallery, Chelsea NY, Albareh Gallery, Bahrain, and others. His work is included in the collections of the François Pinault Collection, the British Museum, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and Dubai’s Farjam Collection.[4]

Farhad Moshiri lives and works in Tehran.


  1. Bowman, J., Love sells for more than $1mn at Dubai auction, Arabian Business [August 17, 2017]
  2. Anonimous, Farhad Moshiri Floats On, Interview Magazine [August 17, 2017]
  3. Dina Nasser-Khadivi, Farah Rahim Ismail, Farhad Moshiri, Rizzoli International Publications, Incorporated, 2016
  4. Anonimous, Farhad Moshiri, The Third Line [August 17, 2017]

Featured image: Farhad Moshiri – SNOW FOREST 007A, 2017 (detail). Hand embroidered beads on canvas on board. 71 7/10 × 60 1/5 in. 182 × 153 cm
All images courtesy of Galerie Perrotin

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Magic and Power: From magic carpets to dronesMarta Herford, Germany, HerfordGroup
2015The Great Game, Iranian Pavilion, Venice Biennial 2015Venice, ItalyGroup
2015Abu Dhabi Art 2015Abu Dhabi Group
2014Farhad Moshiri - FloatGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin, New York City, NYSolo
2014Love Me, Love Me Not. The contemporary art from Azerbaijan and its neighboursHeydar Aliyev Center, BakuGroup
2014Calligraffiti: 1984-2013Leila Heller Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2013Farhad Moshiri - My FlowerGallery Hyundai, SeoulSolo
2013Farhad Moshiri - PicnicGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin - Hong Kong, Hong KongSolo
2013Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian and TurkishMuseum of Anthropology, Vancouver, BCGroup
2013Disaster / The End Of DaysGalerie Thaddaeus Ropac, ParisGroup
2012The Fire of JoyGalerie Perrotin, ParisSolo
2012ShukranThe Third Line - Dubai, DubaiSolo
2012Artandpress Kunst. Wahrheit. WirklichkeitZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe, KarlsruheGroup
2012ArtandpressMartin-Gropius-Bau, BerlinGroup
2011Louis Vuitton commissioned worksLouis Vuitton UAE Stores, Dubai, UAESolo
2011Text in Contemporary Arab and Iranian ArtCAP Kuwait, Kuwait CityGroup
2011The Third LineTraffic, DubaiGroup
2011The World Belongs to YouPalazzo Grassi - Francois Pinault Foundation, VeniceGroup
2011Sympathy for the DevilVanhaerents Art Collection, BrusselsGroup
2011Zendegi: Twelve Contemporary Iranian ArtistsBeirut Exhibition Center, BeirutGroup
2011American DreamGalleria Valentina Bonomo, RomeGroup
2010Farhad Moshiri - Nothing Serious (Kast)Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac - Salzburg, SalzburgSolo
2010Tarjama/TranslationHerbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NYGroup
2010Hope!Palais des Arts Dinard, DinardGroup
2010Tehran-New YorkLeila Heller Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2010The Franks-Suss CollectionPhillips de Pury & Company, The Saatchi Gallery, LondonGroup
2009Farhad Moshiri - Silly you, Silly meGalerie Emmanuel Perrotin - Paris, ParisSolo
20096th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (APT6)Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane, QLDGroup
2009Routes IIWaterhouse & Dodd, LondonGroup
2009Iran Inside OutDePaul Art Museum, Chicago, ILGroup
2009Dojima River Biennale 2009 - Reflections: The World Through ArtDojima River Biennale, OsakaGroup
2009Dress Codes: Clothing as MetaphorKatonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NYGroup
2009Guns and RosesEleven Howland Ltd, LondonGroup
2009Tarjama/TranslationQueens Museum of Art (QMA), New York City, NYGroup
2008Home Sweet HomeGalerie Rodolphe Janssen, BrusselsSolo
2008BlenderSorry, we’re closed, BrusselsSolo
2008Beyond WordsKashya Hildebrand - Zürich, ZurichGroup
2008RoutesWaterhouse & Dodd, LondonGroup
2008Empire and Its DiscontentsTufts University Art Gallery, Medford, MAGroup
2008East West DialoguesLeila Heller Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2008Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle EastBritish Museum, LondonGroup
2007Candy SoreThe Third Line - Dubai, DubaiSolo
2007Neighbours in DialogueBm-Suma Contemporary Art Center, IstanbulGroup
2007Post-Inaugural ExhibitionDaneyal Mahmood Gallery, New York City, NYGroup
2006Love BeginsAlbareh Art Gallery, ManamaSolo
2005Art Without BordersArmenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art - ACCEA, YerevanGroup
2005Word into ArtArtSchool Palestine, LondonGroup
2005About BeautyHaus der Kulturen der Welt, BerlinGroup
2005WelcomeKashya Hildebrand, New York City, NYGroup
2004RogueKashya Hildebrand, New York City, NYSolo
2004SolarisKashya Hildebrand, New York City, NYGroup
2003Iranian PoolRooseum Center for Contemporary Art, MalmöGroup
20036th Sharjah International BiennialSharjah Biennial, SharjahGroup