Iranian artist Golnaz Afraz lives and works in Strasbourg, France. Born in Tehran in 1981, she completed her undergraduate degree in Painting at the University of Azad in her native city before obtaining two Masters in Fine Art, the first conferred by the University of Tarbiat Modarres in Tehran in 2007 and the second by the University of Strasbourg in France in 2011.

In 2015 Golnaz won Saatchi Art’s Showdown: The Painted World competition, which was entered by over 5,000 artists worldwide and culminated in an exhibition of work by the 30 shortlisted artists in Los Angeles. The judges singled out her masterful use of colour and distinctive compositional style.

Golnaz’s intention in her paintings is to create a story and to allow the viewer to draw their own conclusions. The starting point might be the memory of a scene from daily life or from a play or film she has seen. She paints this reality in multiple layers, depicting various fragments of time on the same plane and superimposing forms. She leaves sections of her paintings unfinished or in sketch form to give the work space to breathe.

Golnaz’s juxtaposition of colourful, expressive painted areas, blank spaces and snapshot-style line-drawn figures interacting in everyday situations, arranged apparently randomly across the canvas, creates unique compositions of immense vitality, in which, ultimately, the graphic quality prevails.

Golnaz has participated in numerous exhibitions and art fairs in Europe and the Middle East since 2005. Recent exhibitions include art Karlsruhe art fair in 2020, solo shows at the Galerie Brûlée in Strasbourg in 2019, 2017 and 2015, and group exhibitions such as at the Latuvu Gallery in Bages, France, in 2020 and 2019, Galerie Brûlée in 2020, 2017 and 2015, and ‘Day Day Gallery Muse’ in Izad Shahr, Iran. Golnaz’s work was also featured in Continental Shift, an exhibition of emerging artists from Saatchi Art at the Saatchi Gallery, London, in 2014.