100 Most Powerful Arabs Under 40
Hayv Kahraman

Hayv Kahraman

Industry: Arts and entertainment

Designation: Artist

Country: US (Iraq)

Age: 34

Hayv Kahraman is an Iraqi artist and painter who lives and works in the US. Born in 1981 in Baghdad, Kahraman’s family fled the city during the Gulf War and moved to Sweden when she was 11years old. A year later she took up oil painting.

Her latest solo show at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, “How Iraqi Are You?”, addressed that period. It included Kahraman’s autobiographical paintings on linen that referenced her early childhood in Iraq, her upbringing as a refugee in Sweden and her struggle to navigate two disparate cultural identities.

A graduate of the Academy of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, Kahraman has had numerous solo and collective exhibitions and her work has been included in several public collections, including North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh; the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus; American Embassy, Baghdad; The Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; MATHAF Museum of Modern Art, Doha; and The Rubell Family  Collection, Miami.

Her artwork is considered to depict the effects of war, and how they affect women, including the controversial issues of gender, honour killings and many other issues faced by women in Iraq. However, her style includes stylistic references ranging from Japanese and Arabic calligraphy art nouveau, Persian miniature and Greek iconography.