Shilla Shakoori is a contemporary artist from Tehran, Iran, and currently based in Los Angeles and Chicago. Shakoori’s artistic output springs from an exploration of the synthesis between native and adopted cultures. It was through the border-transcending work of historical Persian poet Rumi that Shakoori began to fully connect to her cultural heritage, though Shakoori attributes her artistic influence to contemporary artists, such as LA painter Alexandra Grant, as well. The contrasting natures of Shakoori’s cultural identity and artistic inspiration constantly emerge in her artwork. Her exploration of language as both a graphic process and a cultural signifier is a driving force, even when no text is present in the painting (though Shakoori incorporates both English text and Persian script often). Shakoori highlights these dualities with a contrasted use of figurative illustration and abstracted forms, gorgeously painted with layers of texture that create a sense of depth and record the action of her hand. Despite the inherent conflicting nature of her artistic juxtaposition, Shakoori expresses herself in a harmonious and balanced manner, bringing a presence to her work that is truly mystical.