Arghavan Khosravi

Symbols and subtext abound in culturally-charged assemblage.

Arghavan Khosravi (she/her) was born in Shahr-e-kord, Iran in 1984. She now lives and works in New York, USA.

Career

Growing up in Tehran, Khosravi was inspired by murals across the city by her contemporary Mehdi Ghadyanloo. After working for ten years as a graphic designer in Iran, Khosravi moved to the US to pursue her passion for painting.

Influences

The artist pulls from influences including Marisol Escobar’s blending of 3D forms and 2D surfaces, Tom Wesselman’s use of the shaped canvas, the vibrant palette of Martial Raysse, and Behzad's Persian miniatures - her main source of inspiration.

Follow up

Interested?
Sign up for all things Arghavan Khosravi, including new collaborations and collecting opportunities.

Collaborations with this artist

Practice overview

Arghavan Khosravi draws from her own life to depict the fragmentation of diasporic cultural identity. These experiences manifest in segmented, layered canvases which often incorporate 3D objects like earbuds and chains. Her work is rich with symbolic motifs such as red strings and obscured facial features that reflect cultural restrictions imposed on the artist while living in Iran. However, Khosravi is keen to do so subtly – conveying a sense of claustrophobia rather than outright violence. Throughout her oeuvre, Khosravi advocates human rights while refusing to abide by Western stereotypes of repressed Iranian women – instead anchoring her work to the reality of her own memory.

One of the artist’s primary inspirations is Persian Miniatures, seen in vivid colour palettes, intricate backdrops and architectural motifs. This formal interest in construction is also reflected in Khosravi’s process. She begins each painting by carefully planning a layout before building a bespoke frame for her canvas. In the compositions, she omits a vanishing point and instead favours the ‘stacked perspective’ of Persian art. Layering disjointed flashes of her own life, Khosravi creates assemblage-like paintings which speak to the oft-overlooked intricacies of cultural identity.

“I’m not interested in perpetuating notions of cultural exoticism and portrayals of Iranian women as victims. Rather, my work is a vehicle for shifting power.” Arghavan Khosravi