Salman Toor paintings
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August 20, 2021
Art
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Painting South Asian Queer Men: Meet Pakistani Artist Salman Toor

Salman Toor is a young Pakistani artist who paints South Asian men in eerily beautiful scenes. In his paintings, brown bodies are portrayed in settings they are not traditionally shown in: intimate, bourgeois and bohemian backgrounds.

Either part of a group or isolated, the figures seem vulnerable, fragile and lonely, as if belonging to a faint memory. ⁠Salman uses art history codes to disrupt the Western Orientalist tradition. His paintings are reminiscent of social gatherings depicted by Impressionist masters, despite the XXI-century cellphones and laptop.

As Toor himself says: ‘I paint figures to enhance my context as a queer man living between cultures. I use figurative imagery to mythologize my life, define my relationship to power, but also to laugh at myself and have fun’. His first solo exhibition, ‘How Will I Know’, ended in April 2021 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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