Born in Milan, Italy in 1987
“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.”
Omar Hassan graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera in 2010 and, after taking part in several group and solo exhibitions, he was invited by Vittorio Sgarbi, curator of the Italian Pavilion, to exhibit at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011.
After 10 years of training as a professional boxer, Hassan was forced to stop boxing due to a diagnosis of diabetes; being unable to fully explore his passion, the artist returned to his second love, investing all his energy into the artistic practice.
In the series of paintings called “Breaking Through” Hassan combines painting and performance in a vigorously gestural technique inspired by his boxing career, which involves dipping his boxing gloves into paint and punching onto a large canvas. The series “Injections” consists of paintings with single dots and streams of paint dripping down from their core, and they refer to the artist’s daily shots of Insulin.
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 artworks on canvas and those cast in plaster or bronze reflect his strong attention to materiality. His creative impulse takes different forms, from whimsical dappled splotches to lines of wet paint that drip down picture frames to a street installation of massive cubes covered in rainbow tones.
Hassan has realized several public works both in Italy and UK. These include “One Wall” at the Palazzo della Regione in Milan, the Museum Mille Miglia in Brescia, the Academy of Fine Arts Aldo Galli in Como and “Colour Cube” in London’s Brick Lane. The latter work consisted in redecorating a concrete bollard located alongside the East London Line. All these artworks are characterized by the signature motif of the “Injections” series.