Shiva Aini: So passionate about humanism

Powerful strokes make her artwork come alive with an unusual force. She grips a colored chalk or a paint-laden brush and makes stroke after stroke to transfer her feelings on canvas. Like a magic wand, the movement of her hand brings to life the themes she is most concerned about—child abuse and violence against women. Though she spent a loved and protected childhood in a family of music lovers, her concern for child abuse and violence against women grew with time.


When she was just a child, Shiva Aini played with line and color. She says to IRIS ART MAGAZINE, that when she was only six, her mural that she named ‘Ant War’ appeared on a wall of her kindergarten nursery in Akhtyarm—a simple, art work. Describing it, she says, “I drew my first large painting in kindergarten. They allocated one of the yard walls to me and I started painting.” From that fledgling stage, she continued painting and today she is known as an accomplished artist.

Briefly, she describes her childhood, “I have always cherished my language, my drawing and loved design. They are my tools of communication. With my paintings, I can communicate with anyone from any place in the world. My father and brother were into music. When my father saw me taking interest in art, he encouraged me. The little seedling grew into a fresh promise of fulsome spring.

“With passing years, my passion with painting remains my strongest source of inspiration, increasing in intensity day after day. I live with it, breathe it, talk to it and make love to it. Sometimes I scream. Leave myself to painting and dissolve in it. It’s a part of me. Painting is my life and I am doomed to devastation with this passion.

“I have not achieved all I have been looking for. Part of the reason is that I live in Iran and most of my art is considered political or erotic, both are regarded taboos here and not presentable.”

Her philosophy in painting is: “Self-expression simultaneous with being the voice of my country’s women.” She says, “I feel that it is the concern of many Iranian painters. I love to portrait such concerns in my own style. Exposing a tragedy as Aristotle puts it, ‘Only a virtuous deals with it.’ Here it is women who are destined for the tragedy.”


With a bachelor of art in her bag, she also has a certificate of painting from the University of Varounj in Russia; and a Certificate in Stone Sculpture from Professor Luca Marovino of the University of Regio Kalabria, Italy.

With her concerns for human rights, especially the female and child rights, she thinks living in Iran is difficult. “Artists have their specific lifestyle and the community to which it is not very much open in this country.”

Most artworks that Shiva creates are expressionistic. “I paint my feelings and expressions of violence in black charcoal,” she says, adding: “These problems pertain to my country as well as some other parts of the world. I try to address them globally in charcoal and colors.”

Her works have been published in a reference book about international artists published by Alberta Gallery in Portugal, and she intends to write a book to narrate the story of the multiple phase of her life as an artist as each of them has affected her differently.


She remarks about an artist’s life, “For obvious reasons, changes are boldly written in an artist’s life. Each period of his life is filled with (and reflects) different attitudes and concerns of that specific time, as it changes the theme of life for the artist. I, too, change my art subject according to my mental, physical and life conditions. I deal with the changes piece by piece and transform it all according to how they affect my thinking.”

Her utmost desire is to “reach my goal and become one with my theme and painting. I feel that art takes so much love and passion.”

With beauty in her heart and an artistic vision in her mind, Shiva Aini feels that she is about to fly off to new heights. She never had a fear of flying.—Khalid Rahman