Fatemeh Burnes is a visual artist working in southern California, with studio space at the Santa Fe Art Colony in downtown Los Angeles.
A painter, photographer, educator, and curator, Burnes was born in Tehran, where she was trained in both miniature paintings and in classical Persian poetry. Poetry taught her about the development of symbolic layers and mystical literary applications, a construct she mirrors in her art today. In 1973, she immigrated to the United States and spent several years moving between three continents. She continued her formal and informal training in the visual arts, received her BFA and MFA, and did additional graduate studies in art history and exhibition design.
As an artist, Burnes’ early work focused on human nature and nature in general, looking at modern events and tragedies such as the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, and the Islamic Revolution, and how those events manifest in contemporary life. In 1992, she joined Mt. San Antonio College as a full-time professor and director and exhibition curator of the art gallery. She has since curated over 100 exhibitions, authored numerous publications, and conducted art-education documentaries.
In 2009, after a decade-long hiatus, Burnes focused anew on her studio practice. While continuing the themes of her earlier work, she began to consider events from a more autobiographical point of view, integrating personal memories of her childhood in Teheran, her father’s imprisonment (under both the Shah and the Ayatollah), her early adolescence as a child bride, and her life as an immigrant.
In the years since re-dedicating herself to her studio, she has earned national and international recognition. In January 2012, Zero+ Publishing released "drift", a book of Burnes’ photography. She is currently working on her second book of photography and on her solo show, scheduled for Autumn 2018 at High Noon Gallery in New York.