Diyar Al Asadi is a Baghdad-born Iraqi artist who re-imagines the opulent visual tradition of Islamic art's golden era through his innovative, contemporary and often provocative renditions.
Diyar's path from Baghdad to Phoenix is one that stretches over decade and half; three continents; a life-threatening and life-changing war; countless homes; and countless uncertain days and nights that mark the existence of any refugee. Despite all the adversities along his way, or maybe because of them, Diyar forms a very special bond with art and artistic expression - art becomes both his safety net but also his main tool to reach out, interact with and understand the world that surrounds him.
Diyar is a traveler. At least this is how he chooses to see his family's escape from the war in Iraq; their treacherous years-long journey through Egypt, Jordan, back to Iraq, back again to Jordan and finally to the US. And all this, while Diyar is still an adolescent and forced to grow up very fast, so that he can help take care of his younger siblings and his family. Yet, never stopping to create, learn, experiment and look for inspiration and direction anywhere he may find them. This is how Diyar crosses paths and has the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with artists from Egypt, Jordan, The Netherlands, US, Qatar, Russia, UK. He also has the opportunity to work and improve his technique from a plethora of teachers including Russian artist Eleni Alexander, Saudi artist Elham Jean, Iranian professor Fatima Pour Hatami, and the calligrapher to King Abdullah of Jordan.
In 2012, Diyar moves to the United States after receiving a scholarship to the prominent Art Students League of New York, and today, he calls Phoenix his home, his community, where he paints highly intricate, large-scale works that can take up to 2,300 hours to create. He likes to combine techniques of traditional Islamic art to show which represent his origin, with newer techniques from contemporary art which indicate where he is right now in his artistic journey.
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