Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers) was born in 1976 in Chicago, IL, USA. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
In 2000, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL, USA.
Using ink and acrylic on paper often stained with colonial products like tea and coffee, the artist employs the medium of drawing to illustrate alternative historical narratives. Much of his work centres around the “Frenglish Empire (1648-1880)” a semi-fictionalised amalgamation of the French and English colonial powers which encompassed large swathes of the planet over this time period. Rashid focuses on the stories and perspectives of people of colour, who have often been marginalized and omitted from the historical record. These reclaimed and reinvented narratives explore the intricacies of race, gender, class, and overall power in the colonial world. Maps, flags, diagrams, body art and various kinds of iconography form the visual language of these scenes, mixed in with contemporary and historical references to pop culture, hip hop and revolutionary movements, and often alluding to cosmology, religion and spirituality.
Selected solo exhibitions include What is the color when black is burned? (The Gold War Part 1), The University of Arizona Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ, USA (2018); The Belhaven Republic (A Delta Blues), University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA (2017); Kill Your Best Ideas: The Battle for New York and Its Lifeline, the Hudson River, Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, NY, USA (2015); MATRIX 170: On Errythang (On Everything), Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT, USA (2014); And Those Figures Through the Leaves, And the Light Through That Smoke, Part Two to the Americas, Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV, USA (2013); You Can Fall: The War of The Mourning Arrows, Visual Arts Center of NJ, Summit, NJ, USA., and the Wellin Museum, Hamilton, College, Clinton, NY, USA (2013); and We Buy Gold, We Buy Everything, We Sell Souls, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO, USA (2012).
Selected group exhibitions include Reimagining Colonial History, Sun Valley Art Center, Sun Valley, ID, USA (2019); Forever, A Moment: Black Meditations on Time And Space!, SOMA Arts, San Francisco, CA, USA (2019); Personal Truth, El Camino College Museum of Art. Torrance, CA, USA (2019); Here, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2018); Our Moment Is Here, Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town, South Africa (2017); Unsettled (traveling exhibition), Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV, USA (2017); Attunement, The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA, USA (2014); Based on a True Story: Duke Riley and Frohawk Two Feathers, Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA (2014); Ritual and Residue: The Art of Drink, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, Louisville, KY, USA (2014); In Case We Don’t Die, Torrance Art Museum Torrance, CA Torrance, CA, USA (2013); Stranger Than Fiction, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA, USA (2010).
Rashid’s work is included in numerous public collections in the USA, such as the Brooklyn Museum, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the Hudson River Museum, and Nevada Museum of Art, as well as international collections including the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), South Africa.