Latefa Noorzai

* 1960, Afghanistan

Latefa Noorzai was born in 1960 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Having suffered a brain injury as a child, Latefa was unable to attend school and therefore received very little formal education.

Eventually able to emigrate to the US, she continues to communicate in her native Farsi, as she is unable to say more than a few gentle phrases in English. Nevertheless her resilience in transcending linguistic and cultural boundaries is brilliantly clear in the bold, colourful and charming paintings and other work she produces. Though her reputation as an artist has been primarily secured with reference to her watercolour-and-ink portraits, Latefa demonstrates a natural skill and enthusiasm for embroidery and crochet too. Her creative impulse also extends to crafting soft-sculpture pillows and jewellery. Since 2012 Latefa has been at the Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, California, where staff quickly recognised the communicative intent and power behind Latefa’s exuberant work. Her work is being discovered by increasing numbers of people now that she has recently begun showing her art more widely in exhibitions. She was included in this year’s Outsider Art Fair in New York and D’Dessin, the Paris Contemporary Drawing Fair. This follows on the extraordinarily positive attention Latefa’s work received in the 2017 Outsider Art Fair in Paris and the Everyday Visionaries exhibition at New York City’s Target Gallery that same year and the Common Threads exhibition at 836M in San Francisco in 2016.

 

 

Selected works