Vian Sora - Iraqi Born Artist

Born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq during multiple wars, Vian Sora’s paintings are informed by her life. Sora’s works, infused with emotional tension and based on confronting destruction and decay, challenge the boundaries of life through intentional color contrast within abstract landscapes. Sora’s visions fuse her own experiences with Iraqi history, cultural identity influences, and painterly abstraction. Though they are largely abstract, Sora’s paintings suggest figures and places, including gardens and warzones, landscapes of lush fertility and terrible decay, cycles of life and death.

She is a first generation immigrant painter addressing the effects of war and displacement. The foundations of her paintings utilize dark stains and clashing surface textures, which she often disrupts with vibrant paths of color that weave throughout the compositions, reflecting a journey to find harmony within the chaos. The figures and faces that emerge in her frenzied arrangements are references to the bodies, collective and individual, who have been devastated in the ongoing hostilities that besiege her home country.

Sora prides herself in being a self-taught artist, currently working in Louisville, Kentucky, who has received degrees in computer science and an MBA. She studied printmaking under the tutelage of Suleyman Tekcan at the Istanbul Museum of Graphic Arts (IMOGA).

Sora’s exhibitions have been held in Louisville, Baghdad, Istanbul, and Dubai, including at Dar El Cid Museum, Kuwait, IMOGA, and the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul. She recently participated in the KMAC Triennial and has participated in the International Art Festival, Baghdad, and the Sharjah Biennale. Her work has been collected by the Speed Art Museum and KMAC.