Shamsia Hassani is not only an Afghan professor at Kabul University, but is also a world-class graffiti artist. She says her mission is simple: to beautify the city of Kabul with color. Her canvases are abandoned buildings, damaged by war. Her subjects lean towards women, often posing with musical instruments with clear joy on their faces.
In 2014, Ms. Hassani visited Los Angeles where she met with the Hammer museum and was subsequently invited to a two-month residency that she is currently completing. In January, she finished a large mural in the West Adams neighborhood of Los Angeles, and her new paintings on canvases are on view at Seyhoun Gallery in West Hollywood.
Ms. Hassani started work-shopping her street art five years ago in Kabul. “After the workshop, I got the idea that street art would be very good for our society,” says the artist. “In Afghanistan, it’s much better to introduce art to people by putting it in the street, because we don’t have a lot of good galleries and people are not going to exhibitions. And at the same time, I can change the view of the city by putting colors up and maybe covering bad memories of war.”