Through his oeuvre, Afshin Pirhashemi examines the complexities of life in modern day Iran through photorealist portraits that often bleed at their edges into expressionist compositions, becoming dramatic tableaux. Fascinated by the role of women in contemporary Iranian society and their relationships to the world around them, the artist taps into the psychosocial dimensions of contemporary Iran. Pirhashemi explores manifestations of power as they appear or are negotiated through gendered bodies and spaces.


This evident fascination with women and their struggles in hostile environments has been translated through his distinctive style into photorealistic portraits audaciously positioned on minimalist backgrounds. While his brushwork remains idealistic, his prudently harmonized portrayals of his flamboyant characters, paired with strong symbolic titles, Pirhahsemi takes the viewer on a guided tour through a narrative and painterly language he has created for himself.  He leads us through an ever-progressing psychic state that translates his oeuvre into one continuous series.


Born in 1974 in Urmia, Afshin Pirhashemi now lives and works in Tehran. Pirhashemi studied at the Rome Art Academy and completed his artistic training at Iran’s Azad University. His works are housed in public and private collections throughout the Middle East and Europe and he is the recipient of awards from the 2003 Tehran 6th International Art Biennial, and the 2004 Beijing Art Biennial Award. Solo exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2017); Ayyam Gallery, London (2014); Ayyam Gallery, Dubai (2015, 2013); Homa art Gallery, Tehran (2009); Seyhoun Art Gallery, Tehran (2005); and Barg Gallery, Tehran (2005). Group exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery, Al Quoz 1, Dubai (2018, 2016); In & Out, Milan (2009); Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran (2006); Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran (2004, 2003)