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 Naveed Hakim  (1974 - )

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Biography from Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born on the 14th day of September, 1974, in the port city of Karachi, Pakistan, Naveed Hakim was from a family of traditional Medics called the Hakims. The Hakims had generations earlier given up their practice of traditional medicine and taken up the profession of manufacturing modern pharmaceuticals that had been their source of livelihood since their migration from India in 1947.  Their hopes for a renaissance in the family business were pinned on the heir who was sent to the United States to study business, after spending thirteen years in a conservative catholic school.

Contrary to their expectations, the young Hakim found new directions, exploiting his own true potential and using his newly found freedom to explore disciplines within the fine arts and the liberal arts. Returning to his homeland with a degree in the fine arts in the year 1997, he was not very well received by family, friends and society in general.

Back at home there was a general obsession with Arabic calligraphy and representational painting, which was not as much about the art of painting than it was about making a pretty picture, no matter how technically banal or insipid.

Having said that, there were some stunning paintings that were not paintings in a gallery but accidental paintings on the streets.  These were political slogans, advertisements, social messages, written on random walls with calligraphic precision, silenced by a dab of white paint, painted over again, remnants of the earlier message still visible at times, a chorus of distorted voices struggling to find a melody.  A torso of an alphabet juxtaposed against a limb of another, partially exposed under a veil of transparent paint, served as a starting point.  References to the works of Jasper Johns , Phillip Guston, Willem deKooning, Cy Twombly and Franz Kline could be found all over the city.  Perhaps without a formal Western education in the Fine Arts it would have been nigh impossible for a young painter to recognize these scattered jewels in a chaotic city devoid of a painting tradition, much less to discover a voice of his own.

After twelve years of painting in seclusion, Naveed Hakim decided to take his work to the United States in May, 2009.  Since then there are now three galleries that have his work and an upcoming show in New York at the Agora Gallery was scheduled in June, 2010.  Naveed lives in Karachi with his wife and two daughters, where he continues to paint, drawing inspiration from literature, music and painting both at home and abroad.

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