Featured Artist Rashad Ali Muhammad

Artist Rashad Ali Muhammad draws on travel experiences in Africa to create meaningful mixed media collages that celebrate the spirit of his ancestors. Visit his website to see more art.

 

figurative mixed media collage by Rashad Ali Muhammad

“Green Goddess” mixed media collage, 16″ x 20″

 

I’m an interdisciplinary artist who builds a sense of wonder and mystique into each collage by blending my lived experiences, vivid imagination and refined aesthetic. The resulting art creates striking representations of the human spirit.

 

figurative mixed media collage by Rashad Ali Muhammad

“Ogun the Orisha” mixed media collage, 11″ x 14″

 

Being of the African diaspora, I’ve always had an insatiable desire to connect with Africa and my ancestry.

 

figurative mixed media collage by Rashad Ali Muhammad

“Golden Lord” mixed media collage, 12″ x 12″

 

In 2019 I traveled to Ghana, Togo and Benin in West Africa. It was a life-changing experience that reshaped how I viewed my art and helped me understand the deeper context of why I create.

 

figurative mixed media collage by Rashad Ali Muhammad

“Symbiosis” mixed media collage, 9″ x 12″

 

While in Africa, my body overflowed with a sense of joy and calmness that I had never felt before. The many worries of living as a Black man in America were lifted from my shoulders.

 

figurative mixed media collage by Rashad Ali Muhammad

“Under the Midnight Sun” mixed media collage, 11″ x 14″

 

My most significant moment was descending into the slave dungeons while the tour guide reenacted the enslaved conditions. As he explained, I could hear the screams of the ancestors, making me tremble and feel stuck in place. The more I sat and took in the experience, the wailing eventually subsided. Then I heard the ancestors calling to me as if to instill me with their strength and resilience.

 

figurative mixed media collage by Rashad Ali Muhammad

“Under the Sun No1″ mixed media collage, 12″ x 16”

 

This experience and other reflective moments in Africa helped me understand that I was meant to use my art to uplift and empower people of the African diaspora, celebrating our ancestors’ spirit which has been bestowed upon us. Now, I use that revelation to create art with more intention as I explore the themes of spirituality, cultural identity, being one with nature and flowing with life—while honoring those that came before me.

 

figurative mixed media collage by Rashad Ali Muhammad

“Under the Sun No2″ mixed media collage, 12″ x 16”

 

Collaging reminds me of my enslaved ancestor’s ability to create new ways of existing from different sources. While ties to their indigenous homes were broken, they blended their knowledge and skills in a new world to survive and persevere.

 

figurative mixed media collage by Rashad Ali Muhammad

“Under the Sun No4″ mixed media collage, 12″ x 16”

 

Collage fuses various repurposed pieces, each with a distinct meaning, combined to create new connections and meanings that captivate and engage the mind.

 

figurative mixed media collage by Rashad Ali Muhammad

“Under the Sun No5″ mixed media collage, 11″ x 14”

 

I’m fascinated to see where my intuition guides me as I deconstruct images and material, then instinctively combine them to create something new and inventive. Each collage starts with a feeling or idea inspired by various sources such as experiences, memories, conversations, music or something as simple as a color.

 

figurative mixed media collage by Rashad Ali Muhammad

“Under the Sun No6″ mixed media collage, 12″ x 16”

 

With the initial idea in mind, I let my intuition guide the flow of the composition as I plan the layers, details, and textures. I think of the process as a developing story, adding and subtracting elements until I feel the story is complete.

 

Artist Rashad Ali Muhammad invites you to follow him on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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