Omar Hassan is an artist who mixed his two passions: boxing and art. From this original combination, a never-seen-before kind of art was born. Omar actually combined the idea of being artistic with the concept of sports. “Hitting” a canvas like this has never been so creative.
Hello Omar! Tell us something about yourself, how was the idea of putting together boxing and art born?
I have always drawn and painted, everywhere, even on the walls of my house. Then, when I was 14 years old, I started to go to the gym and there I discovered the world of boxing. Combining art and boxing was something that came naturally to me. At the age of 15, I painted my first “picture” with boxing gloves on a wall of a garage using whitewash!
In your opinion, is there a common thread that links art and boxing?
I think that just the definition of boxing unites them: it’s described as a noble art.
What are the feelings or sensations you want people to experience when they look at your work?
Peace, as when you stare at the sea or the sunset, that feeling of quiet and lightheartedness… I’d like to transmit this feeling.
“…art has never stopped “feeding” my inner child…”
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
I am lucky because I achieved many things so far, but the ones that I remember the most are the compliments and esteem I received from Robert De Niro and Spike Lee, who are my absolute idols.
If you had the chance to stop and look at your life journey from the outside, what would you say boxing and art taught you?
On one side, boxing taught me how to grow up and become a man, to take responsibility for my choices and to take risks cleverly. On the other side, art has never stopped “feeding” my inner child. Within each of us there is a child who needs to be heard and many people, growing up, don’t indulge this need. My inner child is vibrant more than ever only thanks to art.
“I do what I feel without thinking about distinguishing myself from others or homologating myself to them”
When you are working on something new, where do you start? Does your instinct guide you or do you try to organize your ideas and then put them on the canvas?
Well, I don’t only use the gloves, I also have other techniques and other ways of approaching the new work. Regarding the “Breaking Through” series for example, I have a color scheme, but then I paint by beating the canvas.
Would you compare entering the ring with creating a new work of art? In the meaning of an outlet for emotions.
No, I would not. The ring is quite different from the canvas.
You have created something that makes you unique compared to other artists. How important is it to you to stand out in a crowd?
I don’t think I’ve created something new, I have just mixed two parts of my being. The result is that I am the first artist to present a philosophical-sports concept within the artistic world. Boxing is a metaphor for life: if you are alone you have to fight, if you fall, you have to get up again. You can take breaks and talk to people who say something to you, but then you get back to the center of the ring and you have to fight by yourself. This is the life all of us have to deal with. As I always say, “we are all fighters”, each of us is the boxer of his own life.
I simply do what I feel without thinking about distinguishing myself from others or homologating myself to them”. I believe that if an artist follows and creates what he or she is really feeling, this person will distinguish himself from the crowd, inevitably. I think that if an artist begins to create something with the idea “of standing out” from others, it won’t last for long.
“Boxing is a metaphor for life: if you are alone you have to fight, if you fall, you have to get up again”
Follow Omar and join him on this journey where he brings together boxing and art here.
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