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Shaheer Zazai is a Toronto based artist with a BFA from OCAD University. His current studio practice is an inquest into understanding the effects of patriarchy on social/cultural development and evolution of cultural-identity. The content of his work is of historical events and/or historical figures presented in a semi-abstract composition. Informed by baroque portraiture and inspired by neoclassicism he paints his subjects framed reminiscent of tabloids and doctored propaganda.

Simultaneously Zazai's digital work is an exploration into understanding the effects of displacement, hybridization and appropriation as a result of technological advances. The digital works revolves around Microsoft Word and imagery drawn from traditional Afghan carpets. Through mimicking carpet-making methods, he creates his own designs in Microsoft Word, where every knot of a carpet is translated into a typed character. These Microsoft Word carpets serve as homage to the beauty of culture and tradition that has fallen victim to many turbulent political turmoil.

Solo Exhibition

2012        A Failed Revolution
                2 of 2 Gallery / Toronto
2010        Afghanistan
                2 of 2 Gallery / Toronto

Select Group Exhibitions

2015        Realized - 5 year celebration of Digital Painting atelier
                Ada Slaight Student Gallery / OCAD University / Toronto
2015        Until Exhibition  
                Good Fellas Gallery / Toronto
2014/15    Experiencing Perspectives
                 Mercedes Benz Juried Exhibition / Toronto
2014         Hazelton Lanes Art Festival
                 Juried Group Exhibition / Toronto
2014         Deck the Walls: 2nd Annual Salon Art Show
                 Project Gallery / Toronto
2014         Frontier Art Exhibition
                 Project Gallery / Toronto
2014         Optic Elixir IV
                 Project Gallery / Toronto
2013         Abstract Implications III - Part 1 & 2
                 Project Gallery and Gallery 1313 / Toronto
2010         A Regime of Chaos
                 Gallery 1313 / Toronto
2009        Disfigured
                 Gladstone Hotel Gallery / Toronto


2011        Bachelors of Fine Arts
               OCAD University


2015        Digital Painting Atelier
                OCAD University / Toronto

2014        Self Directed Residency
                Artscape Gibraltar Point

Panel Discussion

OCAD Alumni: Navigating the Contemporary World
The Artist Project 2014 : Art Chat / Toronto


2016        Ontario Arts Council
                Emerging Artist Grant

Using Format