Born in Iran, Sonia Balassanian lives and works in New York and Armenia. She is of Armenian origin. She holds a BFA from the joint program of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She is also an alumnus of the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. Her numerous works have been exhibited internationally.

Sonia Balassanian’s direction took a dramatic turn after the 1979 events in Iran. Henceforth, the artist who had started as an abstract painter turned to “political art” and became a social activist. She began concentrating on social and political issues related to the atrocities of war and the ensuing sufferings of trapped populations. In the years since, she has also been focusing on various aspects of human rights, women’s emancipation issues, etc.

Selected exhibitions include:
“Armenian Contemporary Art” National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, 2013
“The Gates of Mediterranean”, Palazzo Piozzo-Casa del Conte Verde, Rivoli, Italy, 2008
“Who Is The Victim?”, 52nd Art Biennale of Venice, Venice, Italy
The Armenian Pavilion, 2007
“Continental Shift”, Ludwig Forum fuer Internationale Kunst, Achen, Germany, 2000
47th Art Biennale of Venice, “The Armenian Pavilion” One of five Armenian artists from Armenia and the Diaspora, representing Armenia, Venice, Italy, 1997.
“Readymade Identities”, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1993
“Shadows of My Sisters”, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, N.C. 1993
“The Other Side” The Sculpture Center, New York, 1992
“Committed To Print”. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1988