Azita Moradkhani was born in Tehran where she was exposed to Persian art and culture as well as Iranian politics, and that double exposure increased her sensitivity to the dynamics of vulnerability and violence that she explores in her work.
She received her BFA from Tehran University of Art (2009), and both her MA in Art Education (2013) and her MFA in drawing, painting & sculpture (2015) from Boston’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts & Tufts University.
The female body, and its exposure to different social norms, is central to Moradkhani’s artistic project. Through her work, she is examining the experience of when we find ourselves insecure in our own bodies. Unexpected images incorporate with intimate apparel, bringing humor and surprise in the layers beneath her art to reveal stories of shadowy images with the hope of leaving a mark on the audience. Her drawings on paper and body casts represent a perception of beauty from a non-western perspective in an international context.
Moradkhani’s colored pencil drawings of intimate lingerie, negligees and corsets explore connected narratives of pain and pleasure through repeated abstract patterns and images based on photojournalism, art photography, and iconography. She uses an aesthetic of pleasure to attract the viewer’s attention. Yet upon closer inspection, through the layers of colored pencil, past the details of lace and filigree, disruptive iconography becomes apparent, narrating inherited histories of nation and belief. In her sculptural work, through the collaborative process of casting her nude body, she places herself in a vulnerable situation that challenges the beliefs she grew up with. She again mixes imagery —tattoos of memory and history—to emphasize both inter- and dis-connections between sexual representation and national identity, between the public and the private.
She was a recipient of both the Young Masters Art Prize and the Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize in London in 2017 and also received the Saint Botolph Club Foundation Emerging Artists Grant that same year. She was juried into the Medal Award Gala auction at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2015. Moreover, The Boston Globe published reviews of both her collaborative performance piece “Irezumi” in 2016 and her curated exhibition, “Echo,” at Gallery Kayafas in 2017. She has participated in respected residencies including Yaddo, the Virginia Center For the Creative Arts (VCCA), and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) residency.