Omar Hassan

Omar Hassan was born in Milan on the 11th of March 1987, with Italian and Egyptian origins. He held his first solo exhibition in Japan in 2009, before graduating from the Brera Academy of Arts in 2010. Hassan was drawn to spray art as a child when he began to experiment on different surfaces in his city’s streets. He felt an immediate need to move his work towards different textures, allowing it to evolve conceptually. The spray can has since become an instrument around which his poetry rotates. Starting with the research of a synthesized pictorial gesture, the act of spraying encapsulates a culture in its entirety. Through his ‘dots’ series, Hassan highlights the concept of synthesis, subtraction, rationality and irrationality.

In 2011 Hassan participated in the 54th Venice Biennale and in the same year was offered his first public commission by City of Milan. In 2013 Hassan was featured in ‘Street Art London’, a publication by Frank Steam 156 Malt. The following year the Ravenna Museum of Art acquired a work of art by Hassan for their permanent collection. In 2015 Hassan held a solo exhibition in London, in which he presented for the first time his series titled Breaking Through in a show of the same name. As a teenager Hassan began professional boxing. However, after being diagnosed with diabetes he was forced to abandon professional boxing and the lure of competitive sport, receiving a disqualification on the grounds of health and safety.

The creation of his Breaking Through paintings involves Hassan dipping his boxing gloves into an array of colourful paint pots before punching onto large white canvases, in a very physical display of strength, anger and cathartic energy. Through this ‘’performative’’ action, he celebrates the concept of boxing and subsequently introduces a new pictorial gesture that is both remarkably spontaneous and impactful.

In 2015 Hassan was selected as one of the finalists for the prestigious Premio Cairo Art Prize. It was in this same year that he also held his Breaking Through Miami. In 2016 the artist had a solo exhibition, Breaking Through Milan, at the M.A.C. space.

Currently, his studio is based in Milan.


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