Sanaz Mazinani was born in Tehran, Iran in 1978. She emigrated to Canada at the age of 11, where she eventually studied at the Ontario College of Art & Design, graduating 2003. In 2009 she moved to the United States, and received her Masters in Fine Arts from Stanford University in 2011.
Throughout her practice Sanaz Mazinani has produced an interconnected body of work. From the early stages Mazinani has been concerned with two different but connected aspects of the image; the construction of images, and our mediated notion of the world through the constructed image.
Mazinani's sensibility towards war, how we come to understand conflict and its politics through images and media has resulted in numerous works where she uses pre-existing, archival, and found images to digitally produce abstractions that without attentive observation would appear as ornamentations seen in Islamic art and architecture. Room for Disruption (2011) is an installation made of various components and not limited to the printed photograph; incorporating video, wallpaper, and sculptural elements mixed with images. She creates wall mounted photographic sculptures that protrude and in turn bend our field of vision. These structures usually provide both a central point inviting the audience to look closer, and an expanding geometric field that requires engagement from afar. Making visual juxtapositions, Mazinani challenges the viewer to look at photographs differently. This is best exemplified in Frames of the Visible (2011-2013) produced entirely by images gathered from online media sources. These works often collocate images from opposing political poles in an attempt to question our understanding of conflict, military censorship, circulation and proliferation of information. For instance, when observing one of the pieces from a distance it is physically reminiscent of an aircraft and at the same time that of an Islamic ornamentation. Once looked at closely one realizes that it is a constellation of two images mirrored, cropped, and repeated in various orientations; a propaganda image of an armed Muslim woman with Hamas banners placed beside an image of a U.S.A. military pilot inspecting a fighter jet.