"My paintings are like a garden I'm growing in the studio."
Hiba Schahbaz, Brooklyn based figurative painter from karachi, pakistan
Stunning and vividly colorful, Pakistani-American artist Hiba Schahbaz's paintings are a powerful ode to the beauty and complexity of the female form that radically reclaim the female body from the historically male gaze. Her lens is one of unapologetic femininity and lyrical beauty. A rising star in the art world, Hiba embraces femininity, creative risk-taking and amazing candles.
Why You’ll Love it
Amazing floral scent, perfect for meditating.
Cire Trudon candles are an integral part of my daily rituals - setting intentions and meditating. The transportive scent brings me to another place.
Walk into Hiba’s Brooklyn studio, and you are instantly transported to an otherworldly Eden – a mythical place where female figures, animals and nature reign. Talk to the artist herself, and you are struck by her quiet firmness, one that belies the ethereal nature of her art. You begin to see the incredible will and inner strength she possesses, and the determination and passion of a female artist who immigrated from Pakistan, only to make a mark on the NYC art world within just a few years.
Hiba trained in the ancient Indo-Persian painting technique called miniature painting. After she moved to NYC though, her previously black and white paintings literally came to life – exploding with color and larger-than-life scale. Her subjects inhabit a dreamlike, all-female world, unveiling the beauty and strength of the female form. Often surrounded by nature, Hiba’s female figures echo art historical references, reclaimed through her nurturing lens of feminine power. Interwoven with references to self-portraiture and iconography drawn from mythology, Hiba’s work is both a celebration and a radical reclamation of a woman's sexuality, body and self.
“I’m trying to create an environment, a world, that’s a safe space for women.”
Her paintings are a kind of visual arc, connecting the past to present in a powerful and vivid reimagining. Born from the desire to create safe and nurturing spaces for women to feel seen and represented, Hiba’s studio is not only a place where art is created, but also a place where experiences are shared and women come to tell their stories as she paints.
I light a candle and set an intention everyday. Meditation helps me fully experience and understand my feelings.
The energy of the studio is an extension of Hiba’s own-–meditative, thoughtful, vibrant. Candles are lit, flowers abound and pillows strewn – exuding a gorgeous and languid feminine energy. The concept itself of ‘energy’ is something she considers central to every interaction and is also what drew her to Joey Silvestera during her first haircut five years ago. “His energy is so stable”– something very important for someone with a self-proclaimed attachment to their hair. The life of an artist can often feel unstructured, and having these daily rituals helps ground her. At the start of every day, she sets an intention, lights her Cire Trudon candle, reflects, and begins to work.