Shiva Ahmadi’s artistic practice embraces drawing and painting, particularly a rare expertise in watercolor, across 2D and 3D media and moving images. Her work explores contemporary conundrums between the historically refined aesthetics and cultural conceits of the Middle East with the violence, corruption, and uncertainties wrought not only upon local societies but the whole world by malicious, global potentates. She works with vibrant figures transposed from Iranian and Indian book-painting, as well as pleasing patterns, to create sometimes sly and often manifest themes of brutishness and mindless self-regard within abstracted land and cityscapes.


Shiva Ahmadi was born in 1975 in Tehran. She now lives and works in the Bay Area in California. Her works are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Morgan Library, Asia Society Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The Detroit Institute of Arts, DePaul Art Museum, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University, the Farjam Collection, the Crocker Art Museum of Sacramento and the TDIC Corporate Collection at Abu Dhabi. She was awarded the Anonymous Was A Woman Award and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. A new monograph of her work was published by Skira. Her works were presented in the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, at the University of California Davis in 2022.