Paria Shhverdi born and raised in Tehran, Iran, Paria Shahverdi finished middle school during the Islamic Revolution. In her childhood, her father who was a well-known poet and playwright inspired her, yet she was profoundly conflicted by the expectations that society forced upon her as a female. Shahverdi began her professional life working at a local newspaper, Keyhan, during the Iran-Iraq War. She began to draw and paint when she attended the Fine Arts Faculty at the Islamic Azad University. She immigrated to Canada in 2004 with her two children, and after a period of adjustment during which she worked for Shahrvand, a local Persian-Canadian newspaper, Shahverdi embarked on a full time career as a painter.
She started drawing life model daily. Paria’s life model figures were characterized and stylized as long and thin. Her drawing was selected annually in Toronto for the Annual Drawing exhibitions. She exhibited those works across Canada and became well known for her specific style of figure drawing in Canada and Iran. Then she started adding materials to her drawing to embody feelings of loss, displacement, and feminine struggles. Working in mixed media, Shahverdi paints large canvases on thin plywood, which gives her the freedom for spontaneous experimentation with the surface by carving or scratching the wood, gluing other media such as newspaper and found objects onto the canvas, and then applying layer upon layer of acrylic paint to create collages with a richly textured surface. Shahverdi’s work is abstract and highly expressive, particularly her latest series on war, in which she mixes the unhappy experiences of her childhood that manifest themselves in nightmares, which she meticulously recreates “from the inside out” on canvas. Believing that the world in the 21st century has been “broken and mutilated” by war, her work is dominated by skeletal figures with gaunt faces that rise from the shadows, created by strong brush strokes in a monochromatic patina of grays.
Although her work is resonant of the historic expressionist art movement, it sets itself apart through a symbol of hope that emerges subtly in every canvas as part of her immigrant experience. Shahverdi’s work is emotionally compelling, inviting us to enter the mysterious world of her subconscious, and perhaps our own. Since 2014, she had two solo exhibitions were received recognition through CBC radio and CBC television interviews. As of 2018 until more recently Paria has focused on writing, reading and sketching. This resulted in paintings that are more philosophical. The question raised what is the authenticity of human and her existential. She started to focus her paintings on challenging problems in the face of change within human essence, because of existential crises. Her recent artwork is exhibiting online across the world on SINGULART Collector and BYSAHAR gallery in Toront