The paintings of Iranian-American artist Shabnam Yousefian are as rich in figurative detail as they are profound in the abstract elements contained within. Much of Shabnam’s work is inspired by a childhood in Iran and the restrictions and inequality she grew up with as a girl/woman. Themes of freedom and independence still pervade her work, and through the art she seeks to demonstrate that reality isn’t always what can be seen and/or felt using the five senses. Combining realistic figurative and landscape renderings with abstract elements, Shabnam demonstrates to the viewer that things are not always what they seem and highlights the implicit deception in outward appearances.
Above all, Shabnam’s goal is to demonstrate to viewers that our experiences in life cast a reflection on us along with our surrounding environment, which is as inexplicable as it is weighty. It is through our recognition of life’s reflections that we’re able to better understand our context and journey. As she so eloquently states, “reflection reveals the hidden realities”—a truth revealed again and again in her work.
Shabnam Yousefian lives and works in Claremont, California.