Niloufar Shirani

b. 1985, Esfahan, Iran
Lives and works in Munich, Germany

About the artist
Niloufar Shirani

Niloufar Shirani is known for her evocative paintings, which blend personal memories with marvelous, mystical allegory, and are inspired by one of the greatest of all narratives of spiritual quest: Attar’s “Conference of the Birds.”

Shirani breathes new life into this foundational Sufi poem, telling the story of an epic flight of birds in search for their ideal king, Simorgh. The band of birds is led by the hoopoe who promises that the voyage to the mountain of Kaf, where Simorgh lives, will be perilous. During the passage through the seven valleys: quest, love, understanding, friendship, unity, amazement, and death, many birds perish. Applications of paint weave together beauty, power, love, and the need of a higher power.

Those birds that continue the journey learn that Simorgh the king is each of them and all of them. “I am a mirror set before your eyes, / And all who come before My splendor see / Themselves, their own unique reality.” In Persian “Simorgh” means “thirty birds.”

Shirani mounts her critique of a politically and morally bankrupt society and the emptiness of worldly success through the guise of a community of feckless birds. In her paintings Niloufar Shirani shows the pain, and beauty, of the human journey and transforms her belief into the ultimate unity of Western culture and the Orient.

Watch the interview with Niloufar Shirani

Selected works
Niloufar Shirani

Cockfight, 2021

oil on canvas
35.4 x 27.6 inches
90 x 70 cm

Blue Owl, 2021

oil on canvas
20 x 16.1 inches
51 x 41 cm

White Owl, 2021

oil on canvas
20 x 16.1 inches
51 x 41 cm

Screaming Bird, 2021

oil on canvas
19.7 x 15.7 inches
50 x 40 cm

Owl behind Window, 2021

oil on canvas
19.7 x 15.7 inches
50 x 40 cm

Hoopoe and Car, 2021

oil on canvas
15.7 x 19.7 inches
40 x 50 cm

Two Birds, 2021

oil on canvas
20 x 16.1 inches
51 x 41 cm

Parrot in Neuhausen, 2021

oil on canvas
19.7 x 15.7 inches
50 x 40 cm

Bird with Flowers , 2021

oil on canvas
19.7 x 15.7 inches
50 x 40 cm

Parrot with Still Life, 2021

oil on canvas
20 x 16.1 inches
51 x 41 cm

education and exhibitions
Niloufar Shirani


2017 – today
Academy of Fine Arts with Prof. Karin Kneffel, Munich – DE

2016– 2019
IKKG University of Applied Sciences Koblenz, Master of Fine Arts, Focus: Sculptor/Ceramics, Final Grade: 1.5 – DE

2009 – 2013
Teheran Art University, Master of Fine Arts, Painting, Teheran – IRAN

2003 – 2008
Esfahan Arts University, Bachelor of Fine Arts – IRAN


“Auf Sicht” Kunstraum Harbeck, Puchheim, Munich – DE
„Pale Blue Dot“, Weltraum, Munich – DE

„Of the Gird“, Kunst Akademie, Munich – DE
„Seasons may change“, Sayner Hütte, Koblenz – DE

„Langsam Ruhig Direkt“,Ceramic Museum Westerwald,Koblenz – DE
Annual Exhibition, Academy of Fine Arts, Munich – DE

KM 570 Kunstverein Mittelrhein, Koblenz – DE
„Standard Anweisung“, IKKG Höhr – Grenzhausen, Koblenz – DE
„Grenzschicht“, gallery made in Balmoral, Bad Ems – DE
Sculptur Project Hospiz Dernbach, Koblenz – DE
„Food“, Art Group Event, Contemporary Art Museum, Esfahan – IRAN

„Reflections- Polish children in Iran“(financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Poland) BWA Galerie Walbrzych – PL
„Once in a Blue Moon“, Klosterpresse e.V, Frankfurt – DE

„Fantom“, BWA Galerie Walbrzych, Poland International Group Ausstellung, Lodz – PL
„Miasto“, Sheila Gallery, Teheran – IRAN

„Brave Kids Festival“ – PL
„chahar choob“, Haft Samar Galerie, Teheran – IRAN

Group exhibition, Niavaran Culture House, Teheran – IRAN

Laleh Galerie, Teheran – IRAN
Sad Rang Galerie, Teheran – IRAN
Artist’s House Galerie, Teheran – IRAN

9th Biannual of Ceramic, Museum of Imam Ali, Teheran – IRAN

9th Biannual of Ceramic,Semnan – IRAN

Toohid Khaneh, Esfahan – IRAN

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