Following up on our previous feature on the Milan born Street Artist Omar Hassan, we wanted to get in touch with him before his latest London exhibition was set to launch for a little Q&A. Here is what he had to say.
1)What have you been up to so far this year?
During the last year, I have been collaborating with the ContiniArtUK in London and I’ve continued developing my artistic practice. I have produced a body of work inspired by my time as a professional boxer, that will be exhibited as part of my solo show at ContiniArtUK. I’ve also been organizing public workshops with children.
2) How long did the boxing career last and did you have any amateur fights?
I had been boxing since 10 years, but the first time I was called for an international tournament I was rejected due to my medical condition, diabetes. Prior to that, I had managed to fight successfully in several tournaments.
3)What’s your favorite art piece you have done so far?
My artwork that I currently like the most is currently on public display in Milan, in my local district; Lambrate. It is 250 square meters of dots.
4)Where does your real inspiration come from in your art?
In many ways, I feel like citizen of the world and therefore take inspiration from the experiences I have and the people I encounter. Everything that surrounds us can become the object of an artistic investigation if observed with a sensible eye.
5)Describe the Graffiti scene in Milan when you got into it and we really drew you to it?
The truth is I have never been a follower of the Graffiti art scene in Milan. I approached street art because one of my best friends used to paint on walls while I used to draw in a more conventional way. One day he gave me a spray can and urged me to try. Unfortunately, he has now passed away, he had a terrible accident while painting the walls of the Milan metro. Since that moment I decided to dedicate my entire life to the arts in any form, this would manifest.
6)Apart from art what other things are you interested in?
7)What else can we expect from Omar Hassan for 2015?
More research, innovation and overall an increased number of followers
In addition to the arts, I love music, reading, and recently I have started writing a novel and a romance, I hope to be able to complete it, as writing is a great challenge.
8) Who are your favorite street artists and why?
I think Banksy for his wit, for example, I found his series of interventions in major museums absolutely brilliant. I am also a fan of Vhils as he really creates an incredible dialogue with the walls of the cities.
9) What can we expect from the ‘Breaking Through’ exhibition in London?
Certainly something different, something new; I want to get known not only as an artist but as a human being, I believe that art conveys a positive message for the sake of all. In this case, I would like to demonstrate that diabetes disease like any other difficult health condition can help to grow and develop the persona.
10)Any advice to aspiring street artists out there?
It is difficult to give suggestions, as each case is different. Anyhow, I believe every artist should always defend his/her own work, for defending I mean campaigning for it, accounting for it, promoting it to a wide audience! One needs to believe in his/her own path/research always!