ABOUT IMANI BILÁL

BIOGRAPHY

Imani Bilal (b. 1983) is a contemporary abstract painter and poet based in Atlanta. Her work is deeply inspired by her Islamic faith. As she explains, “I strive to convey the notion of Tawheed (oneness), the idea of primordial matter, chaos, and calm; of all things sharing a source and being connected to an infinite mound, inclusive of the human experience.”

 

Working with acrylic and resin, Bilal, who has been experimenting with paint since childhood, has since developed a unique process of her own. Bilal often paints while seated on the floor to pour her whole body into the composition, using her hands, found objects, and hand-crafted brushes, to create an array of effects. Islamic art focuses on the spiritual essence of things rather than their physical qualities, a concept which is at the heart of Bilal’s practice. 

 

Her first solo show in New York City, Fingerprints of Ruh, curated by Nemo Librizzi, was met with enthusiasm, leading to two exhibitions in Atlanta. Inspired by the Islamic concept of “ruh” or breath/inner soul/spirit, it explored the concept of soulmates from an unorthodox perspective and featured lush palettes and undulant shapes against pure obsidian wash. 

A devout Muslim, who studies her faith in search of true meaning, Bilal explores islamic concepts in her work and seeks to challenge how specific subject matters are presented and understood. Rebellious by nature, Bilal says resistance fuels her artistic freedom. She is among a small community of Black Muslim American women who push the avant-garde. Her work has been featured in Black Art in America and Forbes Magazine, among others.

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