Tala Madani was born in Tehran, Iran in 1981 and lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon in 2004 and received her MFA from Yale University in 2006. Madani employs loose, expressive brushwork rendered in a bold, distinctive palette in her work, which often depicts men in vulnerable or comic positions. The men in her paintings are reduced to humiliated and pathetic figures, sometimes shown as leaking their own fluids or engaged in violent acts, placed in an abstract and frequently ambiguous physical context. She has received several international awards and honors such as the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting in 2013, the De Volkskrant Art Award in 2012, the Van den Berch van Heemstede Stichting Fellowship in 2008, and the Kees Verwey Fellowship in 2007.