Neda Zahraie is an Iranian-American painter, writer and musician. As with her prose, poetry and music, in both procedure and result her paintings too, demonstrate the process of anamnesis. In every piece of Zahraie’s art the attempt to bring to life consciously unspoken thoughts, suppressed memories, and the weight and colors of the unconscious can be found. At the core of her personal and political understanding lies the idea that truth can be extricated from free artistic expression, and through artistic freedom a kind of pure knowledge can be gained to enable the overcoming of any obstacle.
Starting at an early age in Tehran, and later at George Mason and University of Maryland, she has studied ceramics, Persian miniature, classical figure drawing, abstract painting, film photography, philosophy and art history. She holds an M.A. in Literature from the City College of New York. Currently, she is working with acrylic paint, large unstretched canvases, ash and water on a series of paintings that seek to transform the Persian abr-o-baad, a traditional way of creating a cloud-and-wind effect, most often used as page margins in poetry, into the main component for her anamnetic grounds. Each of the paintings in the series addresses a trauma—either mythological, literary, personal or historical—and the final phase, which is the finished work of art functions as reconciliation—gratitude for the cure, illumination of possibility.