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Shirin Neshat (American, b.1957)

Photography

Birth Place: Qazvin, îran

Biography:

Who is photographer Shirin Neshat?

Shirin Neshat is a photographer and visual artist whose work often reflects her passionate defense of human rights, religion, and what it means to be a woman with the Islamic faith. Her work is universally renowned, she has won the Silver Lion for best director at the Venice Film Festival and was named Artist of the Decade by the Huffington Post. In addition to her visual art, Neshat is also a critic in the photography department at the Yale School of Art.

Shirin Neshat’s early work centered on what femininity meant in the context of Islamic fundamentalism. While her work has continued to evolve, much of her thrust and drive still comes from this basic idea. Her work has been exhibited at the Walker Art Center, the Art Institute of Chicago, and LACMA. Additionally, she has had documentaries and films appear at Telluride, The San Francisco International Film Festival, Cannes, and Sundance. She continues to produce vital and important film and art to this day. 

What kind of art does Shirin Neshat make?

Shirin Neshat is best known for her photography but also works in film and other visual mediums. Her series Unveiling from the early 1990s was the first to gain international acclaim, due largely to its revolutionary approach to religion, culture, and her Persian roots. Much of this period featured portraits of women with Persian calligraphy printed over the top of them. They are stark, beautiful, and emotion-filled portraits of women that are arresting to the viewer. 

Neshat’s films have also received critical acclaim. One project, Logic of the Birds (2001) is a multimedia production that uses music and sound to bring together eastern and western viewers. Other works of note by Neshat include Shadow Under the Web (1997), Rapture (1999), and Games of Desire (1999). The last of these was a mixture of video and photography and was based on elderly people who sing folk songs with explicit lyrics. Her film Women Without Men won her the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2009. 

How did photographer Shirin Neshat get started?

Born to a wealthy family in northern Iran, Shirin Neshat was born to a western-influenced family. She enrolled in a Catholic boarding school, where she learned about western art, culture, and feminism. All of these had a large effect on the young artist. In the 1970s Neshat moved to California to study at UC Berkeley. While there she completed a BA, an MA and an MFA. She moved to New York City where (after ten long years) she began making art again. Neshat claims that her inspiration to create came from a trip to Iran in 1990, soon after Ayatollah Khomeini’s death.

How much are Shirin Neshat photos worth?

Shirin Neshat’s photography is iconic and can range from anywhere between $30,000 all the way up to nearly $300,000 for her most famous works. Many of her pieces from her Women of Allah series are among her most popular. The highest price ever fetched for a Shirin Neshat photograph was for the piece PASSAGE (2001) which sold for $269,000 on October 13th, 2014. It’s a trademark Neshat, at times both arresting and hard to look at because of its subject matter. 

Where to buy Shirin Neshat photographs for sale?

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How to value Shirin Neshat photographs?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services department.


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