Umer Murtaza

Umer Murtaza is a British born Pakistani and a Londoner. By day I dish out drugs (legally of course) and at night I paint and write.

I don’t like to box my work but it is Islamic fine art. It’s been 20 years since I serendipitously doodled a Sufi aphorism into a DNA molecule. It’s Islamic because I think its palette - its ideas, history, its contribution to the world - is a very rich one. There’s Islam the religion and faith and Islam the culture. I think the questions that start off the process that leads to the artworks, those questions are very human.

2D – canvas mostly, oils acrylics, enamels etc. I try to preserve the traditional facets of Islamic art – words, numbers, calligraphy, geometry, order and respectfulness – without giving into them too much. It’s subtler than that. It’s about the idea, not the style per se. It’s opinionated artwork like that coming from the West and it’s about things that affect us today.