︎     ︎                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
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                                                  photo: Kayla Szymanski

Askia Bilal was born in New York City and lives in the Midwest, where he is an artist-in-residence at Orr Street Studios.

He works in acrylic paint with assorted dry media on canvas and a method of collage that reuses parts of his own original paintings and drawings. His process is one of layering marks and surfaces to give his work a sense of physicality and history.

Askia describes his work as a search for meaning-a tool to make sense of the world, the meaning of life and his place in it.

He draws inspiration from a variety of traditions, from Sufi poetry to Greek mythology, from ancient philosophy to hip hop and more. He absorbs these references into his own iconography, reconfiguring, translating and synthesizing them into a multi-layered narrative that probes the Human Experience.

Recurring themes in his work include cycles, transformation, layers, and illusion.

Askia hopes for his work to raise questions and evoke a sense of wonder and mystery, both of which he considers to be fundamental to art and the Human Experience.

                                                                photo: Kayla Szymanski


BFA-Columbia College

MFA- University of Michigan


Recent Press and Publications

Image Journal 114: In the Studio with Askia Bilal

Vox Magazine: Askia Bilal’s “Non-portraits” are a paradoxical take on visibility

@ True/False Film Festival

KOPN Radio: Speaking of the Arts Episode 198: From Pop Music to Art Music, From non-portraits to the art of Como Sea (@16:45) 

New American Paintings- Issue 155 (Free download)

Artist Askia Bilal puts a spin on 'Wheel of Fortune' with mixed media

Columbia artist Askia Bilal layers his work with meaning

Renovatio: Spirituality in the Postmodern World

Copyright Askia Bilal © All rights reserved.