Born in 1988 in Vlore, Albania, Iskra Shahaj spent her early life in this city where her interest for drawing and painting began. She studied at Vlora Fine Arts School and then moved to Ferrara, Italy to study Conservation of Cultural Heritage.
The Mediterranean colours that surrounded her childhood had imprinted on her imagination and creativity.
Her mother’s fashion drawings also played a vital role in her creative journey. She studied the lines and colours but most importantly, the figures in the sketches. Thus, the feminine form became the centre of Iskra’s paintings.
The play of light and shadows are also prevalent features in her works - from the folds in the dresses to the way the light naturally casts itself on the subject’s skin; for Iskra, it is almost as important as the subject themselves. She uses vibrant colours that contrast with the tenderness of the poses.
Another important theme of her paintings is loneliness - as a moment of meditation and reflection. The pictures do not have a narrative nor do they tell a story. Rather, they are captured moments of introspection which is the reason why none of Iskra’s works have titles.
She currently lives between Dubai and Italy.