Sheila Karbassian is an artist based in Santa Monica, California. She was born in the United States, moved to Iran at the age of 11, two years into the Iran and Iraq War, post the 1978 Islamic Revolution, contrary to what most Iranians were doing—leaving Iran. This journey has deeply influenced her expressive and diverse visual vocabulary, bringing into color and formation the continued expansion and contraction of self-identity and existence in the context of modernity and tradition. Her expressive and diverse style also reflects her personal life experiences being a woman, a mother, a survivor of loss, a survivor of war, an Iranian, an American, traditional, modern, a Californian, and and all other dimensions of being a human. This cultural hybridity can be felt greatly in her work.
Her first exhibition was in Silk Road Gallery, Brooklyn, New York (2002). Since then, she was exhibited in Pacific Art Center (2013), Hope Heals Gallery and Auction (2016) and Arena 1 Gallery (2017) in California. She graduated with a BA in Communication Arts from Tehran’s Azad University and completed an MA in Spiritual Psychology in the University of Santa Monica.