Pantea Karimi in studio


Since 2014, Pantea Karimi’s multidisciplinary work has been focused on the interconnectivity of art and science by exploring select historical objects and scientific manuscripts of medicinal botany and mathematics from Iran, Arab regions, and Europe. These subjects define her ancestral and cultural heritage and unify her work. Growing up in post-revolutionary Iran and later emigrating to the UK and then the US, her life and sensibilities have been intensely influenced by war, religion, and politics. Utilizing multimedia and installation and balancing harmony and tension, Karimi creates syncretic imagery and narratives to claim female agency and highlight her cultural heritage as it intertwines with geopolitical tensions.

Karimi’s interest in botany, research, and mathematics is informed by her family with roots in Shiraz, Iran, known for its herbal medicine tradition since the medieval period and abundant architecture that uses geometry and harmonic forms. Karimi’s fine arts and graphic design education has informed her sense of aesthetics and practice and influenced her multimedia indulgence. As a fine art practitioner, she is drawn to form and hand-made work, and as a designer, to text, book layouts, and digital rendition. Hence, often her multimedia installations include Virtual and Augmented Reality, three-dimensional objects, video, animation, sound, print, and drawing.



Pantea Karimi is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher, and educator based in San Jose, California. She worked and studied in Iran and the UK before settling in the US in 2005. Karimi’s works have been exhibited in solo, group, and traveling exhibitions in Iran, Algeria, Germany, Croatia, Mexico, the UK, and the United States, including San Jose City Hall, San Jose Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, New Bedford Art Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, Montefiore Einstein in NY, and Rotch Library at MIT. Karimi’s works are held in private and public collections at YouTube, Stanford University, University of California San Francisco, and University of California Davis. KQED Arts & Culture published an article on Karimi’s 2022 Woman, Life, Freedom work followed by a live interview on KQED Forum, aired on April 26, 2023

Karimi is a 2024 City of San Jose Creative Ambassador, a 2023 Kala Art Institute Honoree, and a 2019 Silicon Valley Artist Laureate. She is the recipient of Pollock-Krasner Foundation Artist Grant (2022), City of San Jose Arts and Cultural Exchange Grant (2019) and Artist Residencies at MASS MoCA (2022 and 2024), Santa Fe Art Institute (2024), Montalvo Art Center’s Lucas Program (2024-2026), University of California San Francisco Library (2021-2022) and Kala Art Institute Fellowship (2017).

Karimi holds Master’s Degrees in both Graphic Design and Fine Arts and is a member of the international Substantial Motion Research Network, affiliated with Simon Fraser University in Canada, and an Adjunct Faculty of Studio Arts and Digital Media at the College of San Mateo, California.


Photos by Carolina Porras Monroy, Studios at MASS MoCA, May 2022.