Tala Madani
Iranian-American artist



We do our best to use images that are open source. If you feel we have used an image of yours inappropriately please let us know and we will fix it.


Our writing can be punchy but we do our level best to ensure the material is accurate. If you believe we have made a mistake, please let us know.


If you are planning to see an artwork, please keep in mind that while the art we cover is held in permanent collections, pieces are sometimes removed from display for renovation or traveling exhibitions.

Tala Madani
Iranian-American artist
Be the first to vote…

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Tehran, Iran

More about Tala Madani

ebrowne's picture


Tala Madani is really good at making men look really dumb.

Tala Madani is a painter, drawer, and stop-motion animator of men in compromising, if not completely humiliating positions. This is not an angry feminist statement though. In fact Madani says that she even sees herself in these men on occasion. Her paintings are just about being human and they aren’t meant to be funny…for the most part. Madani stated that, “Certain paintings I’m serious about, and certain paintings I’m laughing my ass off.” Whoever said art can’t be funny should be avoided at all costs.

Madani was born in Tehran, Iran in 1981. She used to wake up at the crack of dawn with her grandfather to go to Mellat Park, “One of the traffic-clogged city’s largest green spaces, where he would converse with the shopkeepers and other businessmen who gathered to do their exercises, feed the birds, and munch on fresh bread and cheese.” This is likely where her affinity for drawing middle aged men began. Then in 1994 she moved with her mother to Oregon, where she was the only Iranian in her school. Like all good misfit movies, Madani joined the clique of kids who didn’t have a clique – a group she referred to as “the Others.” She went on to study political science and visual art at Oregon State University, after which she attended Yale for her MFA. And after Yale, she attended Rijksakademie in the Netherlands. Needless to say she was like, really smart and talented.

So I’ve told you that Madani’s work is male-centric, but what I didn’t tell you is that often times the men are depicted as having light beams shooting out of their buttholes, vomiting, masturbating, or some freaky hybrid of all of the above. She sees them as “little self-portraits” and insists that, “If we all engaged with our own animal instincts more, we’d be better off.” I’m all for bettering the world but I’m not sure how many people would be comfortable with light-beams shooting out of their anuses or believe that it’s going to improve humanity.

In 2013, Brad Daily and Mike Claxton of the Independence Collection, LLC bought a locker full of 114 pieces of art as well as photos, ID cards, and a journal by Madani. Madani had failed to pay the storage company and they auctioned off the belongings. Apparently Daily and Claxton tried to return the items to her and when that failed they tried to sell them. Madani blocked the sale, resulting in a huge lawsuit between them. I’m sure this is not what she meant when she encouraged people to get in touch with their animal instincts. But the joke is on Daily and Claxton as there is no doubt they will end up in one of her paintings.



  1. Azimi, Negar. "The Charming, Disgusting Paintings Of Tala Madani." The New Yorker. N.p., 2017. Web. 27 Feb. 2018.
  2. Bruus, Kamilla. Tala Madani: I Really Laugh When I Paint. Moderna Museet Malmö: Louisiana Channel, 2013. video.
  3. Farrell, Kenan. "Oregon Art Litigation Update – Independence Collection V. Tala Madani." Oregon Intellectual Property Blog. N.p., 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2018.
  4. Greenberger, Alex. "Desires Unrestrained: Tala Madani Takes Irrepressibility To The Whitney Biennial -." ARTnews. N.p., 2017. Web. 27 Feb. 2018.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Tala Madani

Tala Madani (born 1981) is an Iranian-born American artist, best known for her contemporary paintings, drawings, and animations. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Early life and education

Mandani was born in Tehran, Iran in 1981. From the age of seven, she studied calligraphy and painting. In 1994 she moved to Oregon. Madani graduated from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon in 2004 with a BA degree in political science and visual arts. She did an internship in Berlin in 2003 with the German Council fo Foreign Affairs and worked with an expert on Iranian affairs. In 2006, she graduated from Yale University School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut with an MFA degree in painting.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Tala Madani.