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Usama Khalid: Punjabi Cowboy


Richland College - Brazos Gallery

Punjabi Cowboy explores the syncretism of two southern cultures. Khalid’s work is a blend of object based art and social practice to convey the experiences of generations of South Asian immigrants building lives below the Mason-Dixon Line. A series of shaped canvases covered in non-objective gestural marks, and overlapping fabrics are physical analogues to demands of acculturation. Existing as someone with Pakistani heritage, raised in the faith of Islam in Texas, Khalid seeks to break stereotypes, and this is reflected in the aesthetics of his artwork. The artist transforms the traditional medium of painting by breaking the rectangle and using personal materials to serve as the substrates. Choosing to create triangle-shaped surfaces to paint on underscores how personal perception frames one’s experience in the world.

A key part of the artist’s work is social practice. For this exhibition, an interactive performance takes place in the gallery on October 14, from 10am-4pm. In this performance, the artist uses flavors to blur the barriers of exclusive institutions, and to address food insecurity through sharing home-cooked Lahori Brisket. The recipe is Khalid’s own, using ingredients like coriander and star anise to season barbecue, creating a distinct fusion of flavors. The context of this performance is in relation to the South Asian practice of langar, a tradition of providing food to the needy regardless of background. The gallery becomes a site of community through the sharing of food. Khalid finds a harmonious way to express dual identities through providing sense memories from his home of birth, Lahore, Pakistan and his childhood home of North Texas, through a 12-hour brisket for guests to enjoy.

 


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Find This Event 12800 Abrams Road · Crockett Hall, Room C140 · Dallas, TX 75243


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