Hiba Schahbaz is a Pakistani-American artist who creates oversized self-referential odalisque (classical reclining nude) paintings which she translates into ethereal, quasi-mythological installations. Since migrating to the United States, her practice has expanded from Indo-Persian miniature paintings to large-scale portrait works on paper. Schahbaz uses her own body as a model; playing out and performing poses from the mythological canon of art history in her Brooklyn studio. With an emphasis on the female experience Shahbaz challenges the male gaze and recontextualizes the conventions of classical Indo-Persian miniature paintings. Her work addresses issues of personal freedom, destruction, sexuality and censorship by unveiling the beauty, fragility and strength of the female form.
For her Los Angeles debut solo exhibition, Schahbaz transforms the gallery into a heavenly feminine oasis, filled with glimpses of a woman's dreams, intimacies, mythologies, and heritage. She depicts women’s bodies while referencing self-portraiture, creating a space for herself and other women to tell their stories and reclaim their histories.
Schahbaz has participated in numerous group exhibitions; including shows at NiU Museum of Art, The Untitled Space, and Center for Book Arts. Her work has been written about in Vice, Hyperallergic, The Huffington Post, Coveteur, Vogue, NY Magazine, Art Critical, and others.
Schahbaz has curated painting exhibitions in Pakistan and India. She was an artist-in-residence at Mass MoCA, The Wassaic Project, Vermont Studio Center, and the Alfred Z. Solomon Residency at the Tang Museum. She teaches miniature painting at the Art Students League in NY.