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Galeria Hanbell

Shahaan Azeem

Based in USA




What do you aim to say by the themes in your art?

My art is a commentary on our society and how we as human beings relate to ourselves and to others within our society. Themes such as Identity and representation are important, and I frequently explore them in my work. In addition to being commentaries, I try to have my pieces pose a question to the viewer. I want the viewer to have an inner dialogue, and think about how these issues affect them and their relationship to others in our society.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My sources of inspiration are varied. Growing up as an immigrant and person of color in America definitely influences my work, and I draw upon these experiences when approaching my art practice. Current events also play an important role, and I often try to incorporate them into my work. Issues that deal with the human condition and human interaction within society are rich sources of inspiration for my art practice.

Do you have any experiences that have impacted your art?


I would say my art found a new direction a few years ago with the rise in intolerance and violence towards immigrants and people of color in our country. As an immigrant and person of color, this became very personal to me. I felt that we needed more conversations around these important issues if there was ever going to be change. It was then that I decided to use my art to explore and create dialogue around these important topics.

Do you feel your art challenges existing barriers?

My art examines and challenges existing barriers in society. I feel the only way to break down barriers in society is to have vigorous dialogue around these topics. In that sense, my artworks as a platform to bring these issues out in the public for scrutiny and conversation.

 What are your long-term artistic goals?

My long-term goal is to keep making art that challenges myself and the viewer. I will keep producing work I see as relevant to myself and to society as a whole. In doing this, my work will continue to be a platform to challenge the viewers assumptions and perceptions.

 What advice do you have for aspiring artists?


My advice is to be true to yourself as an artist and follow your vision, no matter where it takes you. Don’t place too much weight on what’s acceptable or popular. Don’t give too much importance to what critics have to say about your work. Don’t be discouraged if your art isn’t pretty or marketable. In the end, if you are true to your vision, you will be successful as an artist.

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