Art on Campus
Rubab Player, 2018
Biz Rasam is a Bay Area artist
whose work is mainly figurative and centered around narratives of Afghanistan and its culture. Much of his recent work examines the different ethnic groups and the many identities that make up Afghanistan. Rasam’s work reflects on the country’s cultural diversity, give Afghans a sense of dignity, and use art as a means of dialogue to translate and communicate Afghanistan’s complexities.
The strategy informing his current body of work began to take shape while working with the US military as a Culture Advisor and confronting his multicultural identity as an Afghan-American. His work takes a critical view of many cultural issues while also celebrating and revealing aspects that are often hidden or misunderstood about Afghans.
Below, Rasam explains his artistic process:
The process I use is grounded in formal methods and techniques. I work on canvas or wood panels using primarily oil paints. My tools of choice vary from bristle brush to palette knife to spatula and anything else that helps me give shape to my vision. My paintings start with simple ideas – a portrait, a snapshot of Afghan society – but soon gain a life of their own. The compositions initially remain loose since my relationship with the ideas may evolve as I slowly build up the painting. Every painting tells a different story and requires from me a different degree of care and emotional commitment. While the overall narratives give each piece direction, the color, shapes, and abstract quality of the paint instill personal meaning.
Rubab Player was acquired in 2022 by the Art on Campus Task Force as part of an ongoing effort to grow the LPC art collection, with a focus on local Bay area artists.
Credit: Nike Foundation Site Funds, CLPCCD’s Board of Trustees, Art on Campus Task Force