After graduating from the University of Tehran (Iran) in 2009, Hoda Kashira was awarded an MFA at Boston University (USA) in 2014. After spending two further years in the United States, she decided to return to Iran in 2016, where she lives and works in Tehran. During the time that she spent in the USA, she received several prestigious awards including the MacDowell Fellowship, the Joan Mitchel Fellowship and the Esther B. and Albert S. Kahn Career Entry Award and is today considered as one of the most talented artists on the vibrant Iranian scene.
Although Hoda Kashiha's pictorial approach is in the vein of American pop art, her work addresses themes that echo the complex socio-political situation of her native Iran. The instances of hostility, oppression and strife that she observes on a daily basis act as fuel for her reflection and encourage her to confront sensitive subjects such as identity, femininity and gender identity, among others. In the face of violence and the harsh realities of life, the artist often employs humour and fantasy: a mechanism well known amongst certain oppressed populations that allows them to endure the political and social climates in their respective countries. In Hoda Kashiha's paintings, a constant interplay takes place between the visible and the invisible and between what is allowed and what must be concealed. Mixing the tragic with the comical, the artist's works deliver messages of hope and freedom, through the poetry that emerges from them and the vitality of her palette.
Hoda Kashiha composes most of her works from preparatory sketches that allow her to explore the complexity of her fictional characters, driven by multiple emotions - sometimes contradictory - such as love and hate, joy and sadness or anger and fear. The tensions that animate her subjects find a formal echo in the artist's pictorial language: Hoda Kashiha's oeuvre constantly shifts between reality and fantasy and from figuration to abstraction. The combination of carefully juxtaposed images breaks with the traditional pictorial schema and deconstructs any form of narrative. These different associations employ both traditional and state-of-the-art techniques such as collages of cut-outs as well as images created using digital painting tools.
In 2022, Hoda Kashiha enjoyed her first institutional monographic exhibition at the Passerelle, Centre d'Art Contemporain in Brest (France) and her first solo gallery exhibition in Europe at the Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris.
Her works have featured in numerous collective exhibitions in Iran, the USA and Europe, such as City Prince/sses: Dhaka, Lagos, Manila, Mexico City et Tehran at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2019), Human Condition at the former Metropolitan Medical Center in Los Angeles (2016), Unexposed at Tour & Taxis in Brussels (2012).
Hoda Kasiha's works are included in the collections of the Commonwealth Hotel and the Howard Gottlieb Archival Research Center, both in Boston, USA.