Iman Mazhar

Advantages of Being a Muslim (2016) Print 16" x 20"

One of Many, Not One in Many (2017) Screenprint 24" x 18"

Allahu Akbar Mixed Media Installation

Allahu Akbar Mixed Media Installation

Untitled - Bird Series Acrylic on Canvas 30 x 40

Untitled 2 - Bird Series Oil on Canvas 28 x 36

Artist Statement

Orientalism, identity, and religion are frequent themes explored in my work. From traditional media such as oil painting to more contemporary forms such as screen-print, performance, and installation I engage in subjects such as Islamophobia, stereotyping, and the Syrian refugee crisis. I use myself as the subject of some of my pieces, relating them to my personal experiences of growing up in Pakistan and coming to New York City, encountering these issues firsthand. Philosophical texts are often a source of inspiration for me, the most prominent one being Orientalism by Edward Said, who describes the Westernization of the East.

In my most recent work I have been exploring and working in three ways. I have been working on paintings that deal with misconceptions and perceptions created by people where I have used Islamic patterns and layering on canvas. I have also used myself in my work where I have critiqued a poster created by a TV series, commenting on its false nature and the stereotypical portrayal. While making politically engaging works I am also side-by-side working on pieces that I create through collaging images. These images often include pigeons, architecture, and South Asian and Middle Eastern patterns. I use pigeons or doves in my work to symbolize freedom.

My process and research is usually influenced by current events or ideas I develop through critiques of my artwork.