Color and form work completely in tandem to deliver Pakistan-born and NJ-based Maira Abbasi’s personal tellings of memory, culture, history, and so much more. Any calls for perfection are cast aside and replaced with the admirable intentions to create for the connection, story and experience. These translate into visceral, spiritual visions for the public: sometimes historical or architectural, other times social or ecological in design. Abbasi’s personal inspirations include Ismail Gulgee, Michelangelo, Jackson Pollock, and her own dynamic ancestral past. Her late grandfather, Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Abbasi V, was the last Amir and descendent of the Abbasid Caliphate. From her visits to the deeply historic Abbasi palaces and Derawar Fort, she’s also found lasting influence. Utilizing oil paints and the decorative qualities of inlaid jewels, hand painted mosaics, carved gypsum, and unique handcrafted three-dimensional wood panels, she entrances and invites all to view and interact. These mass-expressions of color, texture and surreal energy can be found in four main thematic bodies of Abbasi’s work: The Tree of Life, Movement and Motion, Architecture, and The Moon.
She graduated with a BFA from Hunerkada College of Visual and Performing Arts and has exhibited at various galleries and art fairs–some include a solo exhibition at the Embassy of Pakistan in 1996, the Islamabad Art International Festival Pakistan in 2019, and Artexpo New York in 2019. Since immigrating to the United States almost 20 years ago, Abbasi has artistically developed her technique, but not her signature subjects; never once straying from the truest elements of her identity. “My art can only be pure and truthful if it is created and anchored to my identity,” she says. “It is the only way I can see it grow and develop into what I hope is timeless.”