Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Hiba Schahbaz is a Brooklyn-based figurative painter who works primarily with paper, black-tea, and water based pigments. Her subjects, largely drawn from her lifelong practice of self portraiture, inhabit a dreamlike, all-female world. Schahbaz initially trained in Indo-Persian miniature painting at Lahore’s National College of Arts, and later earned a Master’s in Painting from Pratt Institute in New York. Her work addresses issues of personal freedom, destruction, sexuality and censorship by unveiling the beauty, fragility and strength of the female form. Through her small works on paper, she aims to challenge the inflexible rules of miniature painting and recontextualize the art form to accept and embrace a female perspective. The inclusion of the female figure in her paintings creates nebulous “safe spaces,” embracing the idea that radical empowerment can coexist with beauty and tranquility.
Her solo shows include The Garden (Spring/Break Art Show, 2018), Hiba Schahbaz: Self-Portraits (Project for Empty Space, 2017), Hanged With Roses (Thierry Goldberg Gallery, 2015), and In Memory (Noire Gallery, 2012). Schahbaz has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including a recent show curated by Jasmine Wahi in Tokyo, “all the women. in me. are tired.”, at THE CLUB, as well as exhibitions at NiU Museum of Art, The Untitled Space, and Center for Book Arts; and has shown at art fairs such as Pulse Art Fair, Art.Fair Cologne, and Vienna Fair. 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, and 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 New York, and her work is held in private collections around the world.