Shiva Ahmadi was born in Tehran, Iran in 1975 and currently lives and works in Davis, California. She received her BFA from Azad University, Tehran, in 1998; and MFA's from Cranbrook Academy of Arts and Wayne State University. Her paintings explore the powerful intersection of religion and politics, examining the corrupt and cancerous link between East and West. She creates fantastical realms, suggestive of her own experiences of the destruction and chaos wrought by war. Her faceless abstract figures inhabit war-ridden territory, and her watercolor paint bloodies the canvas. Ahmadi has worked across a variety of two-dimensional and three-dimensional media, including oil drums, paper, Aquaboard, and most recently video animation. Consistent throughout her pieces are ornate patterns, rendered in vibrant golds and reds and influenced by Persian, Indian and Turkish traditions. She both celebrates and commemorates the raw beauty and turmoil of these cultures’ histories.
Ahmadi has participated in many significant exhibitions in recent years, which include: Global/Local 1960-2015: Six Artists from Iran at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery in 2016; Iran Inside Out at the Chelsea Art Museum in 2009; and The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art and Society in the Middle East Diaspora at Rutgers University in 2012. In 2014 she had her first museum solo exhibition at The Asia Society in New York. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; The Asia Society Museum, New York, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, CA; the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; the DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; the TDIC Corporate Collection, Abu Dhabi, UAE; and the Farjam Collection, Dubai, UAE.