Born in 1958 in Shiraz, Iran. Lives and works in New York since 1983.
He studied psychology and philosophy before making films and video installation, which have been screened and exhibited widely around the world in England, Italy, Switzerland, Germany…
Living with the Iranian artist Shirin Neshat since 1997, Shoja has been collaborating on numerous video installations including Turbulent, (1998) which won the Golden Lion Prize at Venice Art Biennale in 1999. Most recently, they have collaborated on Women Without Men, which won the Silver Lion for best director at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.
“Meeting Shirin Neshat in 1997 has proved the most fruitful event in my artistic life resulting in more than a decade of collaboration and intense creativity (…) While Shirin has become increasingly interested in narrative film, I have started experimenting with visual art. A number of film installations and more recently video paintings have been the fruit of this burgeoning interest.”
From 2006 to 2009, Shoja Azari made works in collaboration with the painter Shahram Karimi, creating “video painting”, a new form which examines the juncture between film and plastic art, conciliating static and animated images. In the Stalker series, (2006) he adjusted and modified specific shots from the eponymous Tarkovsky’s film which were then projected onto a Karimi’s canvas, depicting those same shots in a hyperrealist way.
In 2007 – 2008, with the Silence series, the two artists repeat their earlier experiment to explore the subtle movements of water and wind in visually arresting natural landscapes.
In 2009, the Oil series aim to re-create a cinematic experience through the canvases´ glow of mesmerising colours. Depecting the first Gulf war, the works sample revised images from Werner Herzog´s film Lessons of Darkness, projected as brief looping videos onto Karimi´s paintings, following the same artistic process.
One of Azari’s most noted cinematic works is his feature film K (2002 – 2004) which comprises of an adaptation of three novels by Franz Kafka: The Married Couple, In the Penal Colony and A Fratricide.
In 2010, the artist presented his first solo exhibition in New York City and his exhibition in 2011 is the first one in France, at the Gallery Jérôme de Noirmont.