Geometric shapes, cascading colors, depth, squares, and abstraction are all hallmarks of the gorgeous artwork of Khurshid Alam Saleem, a painter who was born in Bangladesh and now resides on Long Island, New York. Saleem’s work has been celebrated worldwide; it has enjoyed seventy-five international solo exhibitions and has hung in museums in countries including Japan, Sweden, Austria, Morocco, China, India, Bangladesh, Germany, France, Belgium, Iran, Greece, Netherlands, Italy, Uzbekistan and Russia.
In 1987, Saleem was selected as a peace walk artist for the World Peace and Harmony event at the United Nations. In 2008 during the Chinese Beijing Olympics, Saleem’s art was invited to exhibit his work and represent the United States. He was subsequently awarded a gold medal for his work and honored at an Olympic Torch ceremony by the International Olympic Committee Culture and Olympic Education Commission OIC (the Organizing Olympic Committee for The Olympic Fine Arts).
Khurshid Saleem has worked as a college professor and he is actively involved in the Long Island art scene where the beauty of nature continues to inspire him. He recently discussed his work via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in becoming an artist?
Khurshid Saleem (KS): Well basically from my childhood I felt naturally drawn to art and this fed my motivation to be a creative artist.
MM: How, if at all, did your childhood inspire your creativity?
KS: From the very beginning I was inspired by nature and her creative works!
MM: Why you do create abstract art in particular and where did you learn your techniques?
KS: I graduated from the fine arts departments of the University where I learn very much academic work as a student. My artistic life began when I started to work on a broken form of figure/landscape like an impressionist artist. Then, after quite some time, I got involved in abstraction.
MM: You have exhibited your art all over the world, so how many countries have you visited?
KS: Yes, I am able to do lot of activity all over the world. I did 75 solo exhibitions in the fifteen countries about 200 selected/ international group / art fair/Museum Exhibitions /workshops where I have been participated. I also visited over 50 countries and more than 600 cities and town all over the world.
MM: Your art was featured at the Beijing Olympics. How did you find out about art opportunities are the Olympics?
KS: In the Olympic Charter there is space for both sports and art but most people only know about the sports games. At every Olympics there is an art event, too. I was selected by a high profile Olympic Fine Arts jury committee who found me may be from a Google search.
MM: You are also a college instructor, so are you creatively inspired in any way by this aspect of your life?
KS: I did a special course in the New York University (NYU) Department of Art and Art Education in a viscosity print making. I did a fellowship at Print Making Workshop for two years at New York City and also worked as guest professor at a university in China. I was able to conduct some workshops in abroad, too.
MM: Out it all your art pieces, do you have any personal favorites? If so, which pieces are your favorites and why?
KS: Always the latest work is my favorite because it is the result of my experiences.
MM: You now live on Long Island, so how do you find the art scene in this part of New York?
KS: Yes, I have lived in Central Islip for about 27 years. Before that, I was in the city and that’s why I able to do some solo and group show in the Soho and Chelsea art districts.
MM: What has been the highlight of your artist career so far?
KS: I been honored by Olympic Torch and Olympic Medal who recognized me as an outstanding artist.
MM: What events, projects, or other exhibitions are coming up soon and is there anything else that you would like to discuss?
KS: Yes, upcoming shows include an Invitational Small Group show curated by Sarah J. McCann which will take place at the Huntington Arts Council from April 15 to June 4, 2022. I also have a solo show coming up at the Bay Shore Public Library (Bright-waters) in June of 2022.
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To learn more about the art of Khurshid Saleem, visit his official website.