Occupy Me: Branding Culture, Identity & The Politics of Fashion

Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 8:30am to 5:00pm

This is a past event.

Watt Hall (WAH), Helen Lindhurst Gallery Fine Arts Watt Hall Ground Floor
850 Bloom Walk, Los Angeles, CA 90089

US based Iranian designer and artist Hushidar Mortezaie introduces his body of work that deals with themes including consumerism, gender, imperialism, and celebrity culture.

Exhibition on view August 20 - 30, 2018
Lecture + Reception: August 28, 6 - 8pm

Lindhurst Fine Arts Gallery
Watt Hall, Ground Floor
Gallery Hours: Mon - Fri, 8:30am - 5pm

Presented in partnership with USC Roski School of Art and DesignUSC LGBT Resource Center, and the Farhang Foundation.

Hushidar Mortezaie was born in Tehran and immigrated to the Bay Area in 1975. He moved to NYC in 1994 for 10 years, after which, he returned to California, living between the Bay Area and Los Angeles. Mortezaie's work spans the mediums of textile, packaging, graphic design, painting, and fashion. Conceptually his work dives into the junctions of gender, politics, and archive. He holds a mirror to the intersection of mass consumption and stereotype through branding, propaganda, and the cult of celebrity. Mortezaie is a fashion designer and visual artist who combines these varied mediums into installation-like tableaus that create a political pop art world of satire and artifice, reflecting the dystopia and information overload of the 21st century through detail and layering of concepts, ages, and mediums. He draws upon his Iranian and Muslim roots, using fashion as an artist’s medium to convey that what one wears is a political act that can signify defiance, faith, and strength—yet simultaneously stereotype and control. Through his pioneer celebration of his heritage, Mortezaie’s work prompted the rise of Middle Eastern style and Islamic motifs in fashion and Iranian New Wave conceptual art in the late 1990s forward. His work has been featured in publications including Italian Vogue, Huffington Post, W magazine, worn by Brad Pitt in the motion picture Fight Club as well as by Sarah Jessica Parker in the TV Show Sex and the City. Singers such as Madonna, Britney Spears, and Beyonce, along with other celebrities, transferred his visual messages with all of the beauty of the Middle East to a Western audience. He created a new visual language through graphic design, fashion, and fine art to inspire a new generation of Iranian American immigrants to take pride in their culture with the hopes for the children of the new Iranian Renaissance and throughout the region to flourish.

Event Type

Arts, Exhibit, Event Highlights


Students, Alumni, Faculty/Staff


University Park Campus


featured, Dornsife



Department of Middle East Studies (MDES)


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