Sarai Nissan was born in Boulder, Colorado, daughter to Israeli furniture designer Eliav Nissan. She moved to Israel with her twin sister and father in her teens, where she spent her time reading, writing, painting and drawing. Having only attended online school during this period, Nissan developed a distinct visual style that reflected the darkness and isolation she felt at that time. She drew inspiration from a broad collection of interests, ranging from Victorian traditions to 19th century Russian literature, 1920s silent films, and the occult, among others.
Upon attending the University of Colorado, Nissan broke from the primarily paint-focused mediums of her early work, moving onto digital and analog photography. Throughout her time at UC Denver, she has expanded into a wider range of methods and medias, such as photo collage, alternative photographic processes and digital painting allowing her to delve deeply into the theme of identity and self.
Drawing, painting and writing has also long been an integral part of Nissan’s work, whether as small sketches for reference or reflective writing to form ideas, the alchemy of multiple medias has remained intriguing.
She is an editor at the University of Colorado Denver’s independently run student newspaper, The Sentry, where she has worked as a writer and photographer since 2015. Sarai Nissan currently lives and works in Denver.