Hayv Kahraman


Profile_Hayv Kahraman

Hayv Kahraman (b. 1981) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Originally from Baghdad, Iraq, her family were forced to flee the country during the first Persian Gulf War in 1990. Art became a way of emphasizing her own story and cultural displacement as a refugee, highlighting the ways in which she felt required to conform to Eurocentric ideals. In 2005, she studied graphic design at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, in Florence, Italy. During her time there, she created the first version of the “assimilated woman”, utilizing a singular blend of techniques and an aesthetic drawn from the Renaissance Old Masters, the art of Persian miniatures, and Japanese ukiyo-e prints. This figure is found in a majority of Kahraman's paintings, symbolizing a composite of a westernized version of herself. The latticework seen in Body Screen is also often used by the artist as a motif, an ambiguous symbol of the mute space that women are traditionally expected to occupy. Recent exhibitions include Hayv Kahraman: Acts of Reparation, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE; and Extimacy, Third Line Gallery, Dubai, among others.