Hiba Schahbaz and the Female Figure

Hiba Schahbaz and the Female Figure

Hiba Schahbaz has been painting and drawing since she was young. Born in Pakistan, Schahbaz studied Indo-Persian classical painting before coming to the United States in 2010. Her work often features compositions and motifs of miniature painting with a distinct femininity that ushers the historical genre into the contemporary era.

Moon Dance, 2021, Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Print

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Her paintings and drawings unveil the beauty and strength of the feminine form. Much of her work is rooted in self portraiture but also consists of a melding of people she knows. About the female figures, Hiba shares that they “become a more of an archetype of a woman.”

Schabaz works with imagery predominantly developed and practiced by men, and recontextualizes it to embrace a woman’s perspective. In Moon Dance, Schahbaz’s limited edition print for ART FOR CHANGE, goddess-like nudes, each cast with long flowing hair, are surrounded by flowers and water that protrude beyond the confines of the rectangular print frame, further signifying a break from the restrictions imposed by patriarchal structures.