Wayne State University

Aim Higher

Picture of the Week

Gold Throne

Shiva Ahmadi (b.1975)
Gold Throne, 2016
Mixed-media on Aqua board
45 × 37 in. (114.3 × 94 cm)
Gift of the Artist
Photograph: Daniel Sperry

Shiva Ahmadi is an artist born and trained in Iran, who later moved to Detroit to study and grow her artistic vision. Gold Throne speaks to violence, worship, and the distorted realities involved with leadership and power dynamics. Ahmadi is known to create ‘fantastical realms’ that are governed by tyrannical rulers, inhabited by animals and hybrid creatures. Ahmadi’s use of color and treatment of media mimics the work of classic Persian miniature paintings. She has stated “It’s impossible to be Iranian and not political”, and uses bullets, blood, oil, bombs, Iranian ornamentation, and iconography to further this fundamental truth behind her work.

Ahmadi’s work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Asia Society Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the DePaul Art Museum. She received a BFA in painting from Azad University in Tehran, Iran, a MFA in drawing from Wayne State University, and a MFA in painting from the Cranbrook Academy of art. She now works as an Assistant Professor in painting and drawing at the University of California Davis.

Text by Emily Lane Borden