Artist Spotlight: Painter Mona Shomali Explores Idenitity and Community Through Human Form


Artist Spotlight: Painter Mona Shomali Explores Idenitity and Community Through Human Form
by IranianDiaspora

From the Mouth of the Lion promotes and connects artists of Iranian descent born on or near the cusp of the Revolution living outside of Iran. This week we're featuring the work of painter Mona Shomali.

Tell me about your artwork. What medium(s) do you work with primarily?

I paint using real high quality oil pigments, onto cotton canvas. I begin each painting as a sketch. After I have applied gesso and primed a canvas, I then transfer my drawing with chalk onto the canvas. Then coats of paint begin…

What are some people, events or things that have inspired you as an artist?

I am most inspired by experiences where my perception of the world is suddenly altered, where a major paradigm has shifted, where a conflict becomes resolved- and then I try to tell a story of that moment as a visual statement, observation, an alarm, or campaign for empathy.

How does your identity as someone of Iranian descent influence your artwork?

My whole first collection, “Naked Folklore” was about the conflicts and struggles inside myself to reconcile the Iranian and American constructs of identity that were at war within. I believe that my love for culture is what led to my next collection. It is said that every artists first collection is a self narrative reflection of how they view themselves (my cultural identity) and their second collection is about how they view the world (ecology & human ego).

What projects are you working on now?

I am currently working on a series of paintings that I intend for a book format. The paintings that I am working on now are addressing ecology as an observation of of relationships, communities and how ecosystems adapt and find equilibrium themselves. The human relationship to the environment is very much defined by culture and spirituality, and I have found it fascinating to learn how people manage ecosystems- when they choose to control them, and when do they choose to adapt.

View Mona’s virtual gallery and website and keep up with her on Facebook.


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She is certainly very

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She is certainly very talented. I wish her more success.


All Oppression Creates a State of War--Simone De Beauvoir