Works
Overview

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“In boxing, as in life, you are alone: Boxing requires hard work and daily effort. When you are knocked down, you must get back up on your feet and continue to fight.”

Biography

OMAR HASSAN

 

Born in Milan, Italy in 1987

Omar Hassan graduated from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in 2010, and after several group and solo exhibitions, he was invited by Vittorio Sgarbi; curator of the Italian Pavilion, to exhibit at the 2011 54th Venice Biennale.

 

After 10 years of training in the professional boxing ring, Hassan was disqualified when a diagnosis of diabetes was discovered, being unable to fully explore his passion, Hassan returned to his other love; investing all his energy into the artistic practice.

 

In a series of paintings called "Breaking Through" Hassan combines painting and performance in his vigorously gestural technique inspired by his boxing career which involves dipping his boxing gloves into paint and punching onto a large canvas. Yet the "Injections" series consisted of paintings with single dots of colour with streams of paint issuing from the nucleus. They refer to his daily shots of insulin from being diabetic.

 

Hassan says he finds inspiration in the work of graffiti pioneers such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and in Jackson Pollock's masterful abstractions. Both his multilayered works on canvas and those cast in plaster or bronze reflect his trademark attention to materiality. His work takes various forms, from whimsical dappled splotches to lines of wet paint that drip down to a street installation of raised cubes covered in rainbow tones.

 

Hassan has created several public works in Italy and the UK. These include One Wall at the Palazzo della Regione in Milan, the Museo Mille Miglia in Brescia, the Accademia delle Belle Arti Aldo Galli in Como and Colour Cube in London's Brick Lane. The latter work was created by redecorating a concrete bollard located alongside the East London Line. They all make use of his signature motif found in the injections series.