Shadi Yousefian’s mixed media work reflects and addresses issues that touch on universal themes such as loss, dislocation, alienation, and reinvention. 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. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the permanent collection of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Statement of Series: Identity Screening
Identity is perhaps the essence of individuality which is shaped by many different factors such as one’s background and history. Yet, identity of an individual is constantly evolving by everyday experiences and interactions. It is a complex and fluid phenomenon which makes us unique individuals and different from one another. In today’s society, true identity of individuals is often overlooked and replaced with simplistic stereotypes that are solely built on outer appearances. People are often categorized into groups and pre-judged based on their external features, most commonly their skin color. Identity Screening is a series of two-layer silk screen prints on paper, mounted on wood panels, overlaid with acrylic wash and coated with epoxy resin. The first layer of the screen prints features hybrid portraits constructed from different body parts of various individuals of different backgrounds, symbolizing the complex nature of one’s identity. The second layer is a flat color which is silk-screened on top of the first layer, masking these bodies and symbolically undermining the complexity of these individuals’ true identity. The images play with our assumptions and the ways that we tend to frame an identity without considering the complex ways that it is actually formed.