Part of me has always resisted the Western clichéd image of Muslim women, depicting them as nothing more than silent victims. My art, without denying 'repression,' is a testimony to unspoken female power and the continuing protest in Islamic culture.

— Shirin Neshat

The most delighting Shirin Neshat quotes that are new and everybody is talking about

Magical realism allows an artist like myself to inject layers of meaning without being obvious. In American culture, where there is freedom of expression, this approach may seem forced, unnecessary and misunderstood. But this system of communication has become very Iranian.


I find that through the study of women, you get to the heart - the truth - of the culture.


In this Western world that we have, culture risks being [only] a form of entertainment.


I'm really interested in social justice, and if an artist has a certain power of being heard and voicing something important, it's right to do it. It could still be done in such a way that it's not aggressive or overly didactic. I'm trying to find that form.


Being political is an integral part of being Iranian. Our lives are defined by politics.


Poets use metaphors and symbolism to construct images.

I construct my images in the same way, except that I am using a different form.


Beautiful woman wrapped in chadors, with huge machine guns in their hands.

Brilliant, shocking, amazingly contradictory images. They compelled me to deeply investigate these ideas.


Those of us living in the state of in between have certain advantages and disadvantages. The advantage of being exposed to a new culture and in my case the freedom that comes with living in the USA. The disadvantages of course being that you will never experience again being a center or quite home anywhere.


Art is no crime. It's every artist's responsibility to make art that is meaningful


Nature has the most powerfully healing effect.


I really am a strong believer that with editing, it should take a long time.

Even you yourself are not capable of making the right decisions; sometimes you need a distance.


Every Iranian artist, in one form or another, is political. Politics have defined our lives.


About Shirin Neshat

Quotes 21 sayings
Profession Visual artist
Birthday October 16

To me, editing is not something you can do in a rush because the artists themselves are not always their own best editors. Time is absolutely everything.


I think every one of us dreams, and we know what the quality of a dream is.

In many ways, the reason dreams are so - mine are a little bit nightmarish, is that it's when you're really naked and can really face the things you don't face in reality, your darkest anxieties.


The idea of feeling displaced, and never feeling safe anywhere in the world, where you always feel like you're safer if you're over there, is not just my experience. If you went to Iran today or an Iranian came to America today, or the fact that there are bombs exploding everywhere, there's just a tremendous sense of fear and feeling a desire for security.


My work has never been autobiographical.

Although the subjects are driven on a personal perspective it's sort of elevated above me. I try to express something that is more a collective expression of crisis.


Art is our weapon. Culture is a form of resistance.


You're faced with creation, you're faced with something very mysterious and very mystical, whether it's looking at the ocean or being alone in a forest, or sometimes looking at the stars. There's really something very powerful about nature that's endlessly mysterious and a reminder of our humanity, our mortality, of more existential things that we usually manage to not get involved with very often because of daily activity.


My mother is my last point of security in relation to my past, and if that breaks, I will not ever have that type of pure love or pure attachment.


There's something when you're always immersed in the natural landscape where it becomes your healer, in a way, at the same time that it also becomes sort of frightening. I guess that's how I see things, in that form of duality.

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