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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 is deeply inspired by a wide variety of intellectual and visual traditions, from Sufi poetry to Greek and Roman Mythology, from ancient philosophy to hip hop. He absorbs and synthesizes these influences into his own iconography, situating them into a multi-layered narrative.

Askia’s goal is 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.

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


BFA-Columbia College
MFA- University of Michigan

Recent Press

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

Columbia artist Askia Bilal layers his work with meaning

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