Karim Hamid

Born in Los Angeles, California

Lives and Works in Rhode Island, USA


Hamid’s paintings are often based on the visual dialogue with the classic representation of the female figure and the male gaze throughout art history.

Hamid’s work updates this visualization of the idealized female form through the distortion and transformation of the human body. The paintings function as a psychic response to an unconvincing onslaught of media superficiality and the pervasive objectification of the female form in art history. The goal of his paintings seems to be to both distort and exaggerate this particular emphasis on an otherwise idealized form. 


In his paintings, Hamid is focused mostly on the psychic condition of the person observed, something not readily available to the conditioned eye. In his portraits, or anonymous found imagery, he expects much the same thing - to find something broader in the meaning and composure in the subject being studied. 


Hamid often refers to his paintings as a ‘psychic moment’ - Something that occurs in the blink of an eye, but through the magic of liquid paint is a time period that is elongated and stretched further. In that moment, there is a confusion in the mind’s eye about what it wants to see, what it can see, and what it might try to do with what it sees. This confusion is then layered in a painting so that nothing is very clear, but everything that was before battles to be seen. This layering is what Hamid also calls a ‘psychic archaeology’ so that the composite is just as important as is the whole. Hamid asks the viewer to seek out details that might otherwise be overlooked in a shorter viewing. 


‘While the imagery is often distorted or exaggerated in my work, I also expect my painting to express itself within its own polemical and painterly distortion of that distortion. It is much about the thing/person being observed, as well as the method of being observed.” In this case, though Hamid’s paintings often appear to be of women, it can be argued that the paintings are actually a portrait of the average man.