Zharia Shinn is exploring the distortion of pre-existing visual aesthetics used to depict people of color in her paper and fabric portraits. The portraits merge an internal conversation between stereotypical narratives and realistic depictions. She is interested in broadening the context of conversation that surrounds the visual representation of black men and women through the use of an array of mediums such as, but not limited to; fabric, printed posters, paint swatches, and magazines. The 80’s, Afropunk, Afrofuturism, fashion, dance, and black culture all foster her creative process. Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, Euan Uglow, and Njideka Akunyili Crosby are just a few artistic inspirations of Zharia Shinn’s work, where she expands on creating a new context for her psychological portraits.
Shinn received a B.F.A. in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. Her work has been presented internationally and domestically in group exhibitions and shows. Her pieces were in the 3x3 Illustration Show No.15 (2018), archived in American Illustration 37 (2018) and published in the Communication Arts Magazine 59th Annual Edition (2018). She has also received a Gold Award from The Society of Illustrators Los Angeles in the Illustration West 56th Annual (2017).
Zharia Shinn balances her love for collage, as well as video editing, and illustration in the context of advertisement and marketing to convey her message to a wider audience.
Shinn currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Check out her latest projects on Instagram.