Taravat Talepasand

Assistant Professor; Interim Painting Department Chair (2018-2019)

“I am the Corrupt Minority.” 

Taravat Talepasand, born in 1979 in the United States to Iranian parents during the Iranian Revolution. Retained close family and artistic ties to Iran, Esfehan, where she was trained in the challenging discipline of Persian miniature painting. Paying close attention to the cultural taboos identified by distinctly different social groups, particularly those of gender, race and socioeconomic position, her work reflects the cross-pollination, or lack thereof, in our “modern” society.

Talepasand's works on paper and egg tempera paintings draw on realism to bring a focus on an acceptable beauty and its relationship with art history under the guise of traditional Persian painting. Her interest, however, is in painting a present which is of and intrinsically linked to the past, making it easily understood by the Iranian and inductive of assumption for the Westerner. “Since I myself am considered a taboo in that I am a conglomerate of equal, yet irreconcilable cultural forces, my work challenges plebeian notions of acceptable behavior.” says the artist.

Selected Exhibitions: 

  • The Corrupt Minority, Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston, MA, 2011
  • California Biennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Orange County, CA, 2010
  • Taravat Talepasand: Drawings, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA, 2010
  • Tehran-New York, Leila Taghainia-Milani Heller Gallery, New York, NY, 2010
  • Bad Moon Rising 5, UKS Gallery, Oslo, Norway, 2010
  • I-Ran Home (In America), Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA, 2010
  • Situation Critical, Marx & Zavettero Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2009
  • To The Martyrs!, Plane Space Gallery, New York, NY, 2008

Selected Publications: 

  • “The Outsider Insider: New Works by Taravat Talepasand,” Huffington Post, 2011
  • “Remaking History By Themselves,” The Boston Globe, 2011
  • “Taravat Talepasand,” Javanan Magazine, 2010
  • “Behind the veil,” San Francisco Magazine, 2009
  • “Taravat Talepasand: In Her Own Image,” Art Papers, 2009
  • Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art, ed. Hossein Amirsadeghi, 2009
  • “Young at Art: 15 Artists Under 35,” Art LTD, 2008
  • “Taravat Talepasand at Heather Marx,” Art in America, 2007


  • MFA, San Francisco Art Institute
  • BFA, Rhode Island School of Design
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