Shadi Al-Atallah is a London based multi-disciplinary artist, best known for their figurative large-scale paintings: the dark and dynamic figures depicted in their mixed-media work are distorted self-portraits of the artist. Al-Atallah derives much of their inspiration from their childhood in Saudi Arabia, also the place of their birth, and the intersections of their mixed-race queer identity into adulthood.
Their ‘Catharsis’ series explores ‘healing’ as a concept, and examines the relationships between mental health, the body and spiritual practices; the imagery recalls spirit conjuring dances practiced among Arabs of African descent in the Arabian Gulf Region as well as modern interpretations of expulsive dancing such as voguing. Al-Atallah most recently exhibited the series in the BBZ BLK BK: Alternative Graduate Show which showcased the work of 10 queer artists of colour.
Their more recent series 'Roadblocks' was exhibited in their debut solo show at Cob Gallery, London in November 2018.
Al-Atallah also practices as an illustrator, working on a smaller scale both digitally and on paper. Recently after their graduation, they have most notably been commissioned by music artist Kanye West and has worked with the artist to illustrate the artwork of two single covers as well as artwork for a YEEZY t-shirt collection. As of Autumn, 2018, Al-Atallah has begun their studies for an MA in Painting at the Royal College of Art.