At the Reston Market: Painter Mina Karimi

Modern Reston has been featuring some of the talented artists at the Reston Market. Next in our series is painter Mina Karimi. Mina is a DC-based painter with a bold, colorful style of painting mixed with silkscreened photographs. She creates artwork that highlights several local landmarks, such as DC  street scenes, logos, and maps. Her style is vivid, joyful, and a bit quirky.

Mina participated in the Reston Market for the first time during this summer, and large crowds of shoppers filled her booth and bought several pieces. After such a warm welcome, she plans to return to Lake Anne once a month during the fall.


Modern Reston spoke with Mina about her style and these innovative art pieces:

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you became an artist.

It was more a process of elimination. I’ve been finding joy and healing in a creative practice my entire life. Somehow I guess life closed some other doors over time, or maybe I refused to walk through them. But to make a long story very short, I’ve spent the past ten years curiously observing life, living mostly in New York, and absorbing a lot of sights and stories that inspired me to go my own creative way. That has made all the difference.

Painter Mina Karimi at the Reston Market

How would you describe your style and your art, and how did you develop that style?

Spontaneous. Colorful. Simple. My current style of art developed after seven years of collaboration with a prolific street artist in New York. After studying art at The University of Virginia, I moved immediately to New York and began assisting this street artist who soon became my mentor. My range of work today would not be possible without our collaboration. There is a magic that occurs when you work creatively with a partner. Art is a reaction, whether that reaction is to the beauty of the world, the absurdity of the world, or simply an object on a page in need of color. When you create art with another person, you surrender control of the piece and allow it to become itself through you and the creative reaction of the other person. Now that’s a long strange story for what is actually a short answer. What we make today is a result of trial and error, inventing as we go, and trying to have a mix of what excites people in the community marketplace and various messages that we would like to spread.


Are there any artists that inspire you or influence your art?

David Shrigley, Vincent Van Gogh, and Ilia Pasymansky (my mentor and creative partner).

How do you want your artwork to impact your viewers? Is there anything you hope to communicate through it?

Yes! Life is beautiful. Where we are is worthy of celebration and everything will be amazing! I know that this may sound a little out of touch, but I say it anyway because I believe our perspective of things is really important in how things turn out and how happy we allow ourselves to become. So if I can design anything that might spread joy, I will. My favorite thing is when people recognize these small works as gift items. I’m a big romantic, and just imaging my buyers handing off my work to somebody they care about is extremely fulfilling for me.


Do you have any tips for great ways for people to display your artwork in their homes?

Upside down and then they can have fun doing handstands. Or right side up is fine too. They are great in clusters to cover more space. They are also great little shelf pieces.


You can find Mina Karimi at the Reston Market about once a month, and DC’s Eastern Market every Sunday. You can also view and purchase her artwork at

If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to read our interviews with photographer Visuals-Ki and painter Rayhart.

Would you like to recommend an artist for us to feature on Modern Reston? Please tell us about someone whose creativity you admire.