ABOUT THE ARTIST
Mona Shomali is a U.S. based artist. She was born in California in 1979. She began painting seriously at 15 years old after being introduced to nude life drawing classes sponsored by the Berkeley Artists Guild.
Her recent collection (Invisible Stains:::Ecology) reflects her view on ecological themes such as: ecosystem interconnectedness, environmental pollution, resource misuse and exploitation, inequity and lack of access, social justice, governance, human rights and sustainability of the human dynamic within larger ecosystem components. This collection is also informed by her professional work experiences as an environmental activist and educator, her international exposure to resource-based belief systems, and her compassion for various cultural modalities of environmental management. Mona Shomali’s focus is on ecology as it is defined by ecological relationships, communities and how ecosystem components adapt and find equilibrium amongst each other.
This second series of oil paintings explores environmental issues that are not only limited to the physical realm. For example, resource management decisions are also informed by cultural and personal dynamics such as: identity, power, fear and ego. Shomali believes that when people are engaged in discovery and exposed to basic ecological concepts, they are more mindful, conscious and purposeful in their interactions with ecosystems and human communities. This painting series took place in New York City.
Her first oil painting collection (Naked Folklore) was a narrative exploration of the Iranian-American female experience. Naked Folklore was a vehicle to provide an alternative depiction of Iranian women who are often seen in western media in black shrouds, shapeless, sexless, as if having no desire, voice or volition of their own. The women in these paintings are surreal, symbolically nude, transforming taboos and defining themselves within the assumptions and tensions of culture. This series served as a rumination of opposing dichotomies within Iranian American identity, such as: freedom and shame, tradition and modernity, public and private, vulnerability and pride, ownership and selfless, oppression and liberation. This painting series took place in northern California.