Amir Zaki (born 1974, Beaumont, California) is an American artist based in Southern California. He is best known for “hybridized” photographs using digital and analog technologies that explore the rhetoric of authenticity, vocabulary of documentary, and acts of looking and constructing images. His work often focuses on the iconography and landscape of Southern California, simultaneously celebrating the banal and vernacular and subverting its related mythology. Zaki has exhibited nationally and internationally, and been featured in shows at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Orange County Museum of Art (California Biennial, 2006), California Museum of Photography, and San Jose Museum of Art. His work is held in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Hammer Museum, New Museum, and Whitney Museum, among many, and appears in the anthologies Vitamin Ph (2006), Photography is Magic (by Charlotte Cotton, 2015) and Both Sides of Sunset: Photographing Los Angeles (2015).
Zaki’s art has been featured in Artforum, Flash Art, Art in America, ARTnews, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Seattle Times, among many publications. New York Times critic Martha Schwendener described his early images of domestic architecture as “graphic and abstract, with meaning hovering at the edge of the frame, they read like metonyms for Los Angeles itself.” Zaki’s monographs include California Concrete: A Landscape of Skateparks, with essays by Tony Hawk and Peter Zellner (forthcoming, 2019), Eleven Minus One (2010), and VLHV (2003). He is Professor of Photography and Digital Technology in the Art Department at University of California, Riverside.