"Through my work, I strive to enhance the cultural literacy around lesser know African traditions, rituals and customs. My work aims to reinvigorate the interest in African art across the globe and bring it back to the forefront of artistic consciousness."
Hassan Kalenga Paige was born in Philadelphia, PA in 1970. Both of his parents are collectors of fine African art and own a number of masks, artworks, and artifacts from the continent. Having absorbed the beauty of these objects, and forming a strong bond with them from when he was a child, his love of African culture grew tremendously. His interest in creating his own art was cultivated during his teenage years and, but didn’t develop until he was much older in life when he opted to become an art student. Now he specializes in creating African art, having developed his own visual and conceptual vocabulary that emerges through all of his works.
After completing his tutelage, Hassan delved even more into his artistic practice, which depicts little known African traditions, rituals, and customs that we may have never been exposed to previously, or perhaps taken for granted as being commonplace. Thus, he uses his artwork as an aesthetic means of developing cultural literacy, and through these storied artworks, he hopes to reinvigorate the interest in African art across the globe and bring it back to the forefront of artistic consciousness. Although his works are often considered paintings, he uses pastel chalks because it allows him to blend push around color in a way that gives the story movement, emotion, and a voice.
Since that time, he has gone on to becoming an internationally known artist, having sold work via an Arthouse-NG auction Nigeria in 2016, and earning 3rd place at the Fifth Annual Global Art League for Emerging Artists in Montreal, Quebec in 2018. He was recently selected as an exhibiting artist for the 2020 Toyko International Art Fair, the 2020 Shanghai International Art Fair, and the 2021 FIABCN | Fira Internacional d'Art de Barcelona.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist