Shirin Neshat (born 1957 in Qazvin, Iran) is a contemporary visual artist who lives in New York. She is known primarily for her work in film, video and photography. Neshat's parents were upper middle-class.
Her father was a well-respected physician and her mother a homemaker. She grew up in a westernized household that adored the Shah of Iran and his ideologies. Neshat has stated about her father, "He fantasized about the west, romanticized the west, and slowly rejected all of his own values; both my parents did. What happened, I think, was that their identity slowly dissolved, they exchanged it for comfort. It served their class."