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SHADI YOUSEFIAN was born in Tehran, Iran in 1978 and moved to the United States when she was sixteen. At a time when she lacked the language skills in English to express herself, she felt drawn to art to express her longing, her vision, and her experiences. She received both her Bachelor’s (2003) and Master’s (2006) of Fine Arts in photography from San Francisco State University. Shadi’s work engages personal and social issues of contemporary life, particularly, cultural identity and the immigrant experience. As an Iranian immigrant, her work reflects and addresses issues that touch on universal themes such as loss, dislocation, alienation, and reinvention. Her training in photography has given her a unique perspective on ways to employ and explore photography as a medium within larger sculptural and installation pieces. Shadi’s work has evolved to include mixed media in combination with photographic prints as well as incorporating other materials such as wood panels, glue, canvas, and light boxes to create larger and more sculptural pieces. In her most current work, the “Letters” and “Memories” series, her subject matter has not significantly changed, but in these new series, she has moved from a more spontaneous expressionistic approach toward a carefully planned minimalistic and repetitive approach. All of Shadi’s work to date reflects the desire to capture and distill some of the essence of her own life as an immigrant, but to also connect it to a more universal experience. Her work suggests and builds upon a kind of fragmentation and dissolution, but also the endeavor to reinvent and reconstruct a self in a new social and cultural context. In each of the series, Shadi uses techniques that appear to destroy and distort something of the whole— cutting up letters, using only specific features of a photograph, scratching a negative, etc., she reassembles them as parts of a new image that captures both memory as passage of time, and memory as the willful looking again at something anew. This process conveys a mirroring effect of the past and present, articulating both a distortion as well as a reconstruction.

EDUCATION

  • Summer 2006 – San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA (MFA)
  • Summer 2003 – San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA (BFA)

EXHIBITIONS

  • Fall 2014 – The Photography Show, Site 109/AKArt, New York, NY (USA)
  • Fall 2014 – Vienna Fair 2014, Vienna (Austria)
  • Summer 2014 – Alwan, Shirin Gallery, New York, NY (USA)
  • Winter 2014 – London’s Global Art Fair 2014, OLympia, London (UK)
  • Fall 2013 – Vienna Fair 2013, Vienna (Austria)
  • Fall 2013 – Art Basel 2013, Miami, FL (USA)
  • Fall 2013 – Letters, Shirin Gallery, New York, NY (USA)
  • Fall 2011 – Overruled (Performance in Shirin Neshat’s play commissioned by Performa 11), Cedar Lake, New York, NY (USA)
  • Spring 2008 – East of the West, Somarts Gallery, San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Spring 2008 – After The Revolution: Contemporary Photography from California and Tehran, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery at City Hall, San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Spring 2008 – Theory of Survival, The Lab, San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Summer 2007 – Celluloid: Film & Photography Exhibition, Gallery One, San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Fall 2006 – Moving Mountains, Red Ink Studios, San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Spring 2006 – Master of Fine Arts Exhibition 2006, Fine Arts Gallery (SFSU), San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Fall 2005 – Murphy & Cadogan Fellowship Award Exhibition, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Summer 2005 – rePRESENT (upcoming), Oliver Arts Center, California College of Arts, Oakland, CA (USA)
  • Spring 2005 – Of Past And Present: A Collaborative Exchange, Intersection for the Arts, San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Winter 2005 – Celebrating The Works Of Courbet, Legion of Honor (The 11th Annual College Day Event), San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Fall 2004 – 15th Annual Stillwell Show, Fine Arts Gallery (SFSU), San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Fall 2004 – The Beginning, Art People Gallery, San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Winter 2004 – Self-Portraits, SOAS Library (School of Oriental & African Studies), London (UK)
  • Winter 2004 – The 30th Annual Juried Competition, Masur Museum of Art, Monroe, LA (USA)
  • Winter 2004 – Emergence 2004, Student Center Art Gallery (SFSU), San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Winter 2004 – One World, Many Faiths, SomArts Bay Gallery, San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Fall 2003 – Figuratively Speaking, Fulton Street Gallery, Troy, NY (USA)
  • Spring 2003 – Zydeco, “Tributoa: Jean-Michel Basquiat,” Art Cubic, Barcelona (Spain)
  • Fall 2002 – Intervention: A Cause For Action, Student Center Art Gallery (SFSU), San Francisco, CA (USA)
  • Fall 2002 – 13th Annual Stillwell Show, Fine Arts Gallery (SFSU), San Francisco, CA (USA) AWARDS
  • Spring 2005 – Murphy & Cadogan Fellowship In The Fine Arts
  • Fall 2005 – International Photo Awards (The Lucie Award 2005), Third Place Nude Category, New York, NY (USA)
  • Fall 2004 – International Photo Awards (The Lucie Award 2004), Third Place Portrait Category, New York, NY (USA)
  • Fall 2002 – 13th Annual Stillwell Show, Best of Photography Award, San Francisco, CA (USA)