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Shadi Yousefian was born in Tehran, Iran in 1978 and immigrated 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 in order to express her longing, vision, and experiences. She received both her Bachelor’s (2003) and Master’s (2006) of Fine Arts in photography from San Francisco State University. Yousefian’s artistic practice engages with the personal and social issues of contemporary life, particularly cultural identity and the immigrant experience. Her work reflects upon universal themes such as loss, dislocation, alienation, and reinvention.


Yousefian’s oeuvre has evolved to combine the medium of photography with various media such as wood panels, wax, resin, and light boxes in order to create mixed media compositions as well as larger installation pieces. While her subject matter does not significantly change, her work varies stylistically from a more spontaneous expressionistic approach apparent in her Self-Portraits series to a carefully planned minimalistic and repetitive one as in her Letters and Memories series. All of the artist’s work to date reflects the desire to capture and distill some essence of her own life as an immigrant and 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.

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