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Maya Shiraz

Maya Shiraz was born in Shiraz, Tehran in 1962. From a very young age, Shiraz was taught to appreciate the arts. Her parents instilled in her the values of higher education and artistic pursuits by example, not by preaching: Her mother was an avid reader and nature enthusiast, her father a lover of the violin. At 7, Shiraz began exploring her own creative side through poetry. Her love affair with the visual arts developed in childhood, when she took up calligraphy and drawing, the latter of which became a full-time hobby. But Maya’s style really took shape around the age of 14, when she started creating paintings for her nephew’s bedroom. Having been reared in an aesthetically minded environment, it seemed a natural progression for Maya.In fact, paint practically runs through her family’s veins. At one point, her sister painted and her uncle designed jewelry. Currently, two of her cousins are artists by trade.

Ironically enough, Shiraz did not pursue the arts academically. Instead she studied mathematics at Georgia Tech. Here, she acquired technical skills she would later employ in her visual work. At the end of her college career, Maya received an M.S. in Statistics. Shiraz’s mathematical precision has only added credibility to the artistic knowledge she accrued at such an early age. Her meticulous attention to detail can be seen in every stroke of her figurative works, which are fleshed out in a variety of mixed media elements.

In recent years, she has taken up ceramics in an effort to expand her artistic prowess. Maya’s desire to create and express herself takes many forms – at present, she is exploring more melancholy themes – but the results are far from haphazard. Thanks to a lifetime of preparation, Shiraz is a master of planned spontaneity.

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