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                                                  photo: Kayla Szymanski

Askia Bilal was born in New York City and lives and works in Missouri, where he is an artist at Orr Street Studios.

Askia describes his work as a search for meaning-a tool to make sense of the world and reflect on the human experience.

He works in acrylic and oil paint with assorted dry media in a layered technique that weaves together the representational and the abstract. He also uses a collage method where he reuses parts of his own paintings and drawings. His process is one of layering marks and surfaces to give his work a sense of physicality and history. 

He draws inspiration from a variety of traditions, from Sufi poetry to Greek mythology, from ancient philosophy to hip hop and more. He combines gestural marks and figurative elements with historical, literary, and philosophical elements to cerate a visual language that tells stories about the human experience.

His cyclic approach to making creates a dialogue within the work but also mirrors the cycles that happen around and within us. In part this process is also about searching for an interconnectedness between things.

Askia hopes for his work to raise questions and evoke a sense of wonder and mystery.

                                                                photo: Kayla Szymanski


BFA-Columbia College

MFA- University of Michigan


Recent Press and Publications

Missouri Arts Council Featured Artist Program

Columbia Artist Askia Bilal earns Statewide honor from Missouri Arts Council

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.