Tishk Barzanji

Selected by Maui: Tishk Barzanji

Tishk Barzanji print

Tishk Barzanji is a London based Visual artist and illustrator known for his intriguing modern surrealistic illustrations. Fascinating and profound, his works are an exploration of spatial design, emotion, human psychology, and relationships. His work covers many themes like isolation, escapism and individualism, but also themes like, love unrequited desire, and sexuality.

Tishk Barzanji

His main message as he says “is really to make people think about how the small things we worry about in life, is actually meaningless in the bigger picture. Also, to be open to people regardless of who they are and what they do. Because everyone has a purpose, and a story to tell.” 

The first eight years of his life Barzanji spent in Iraqi Kurdistan, which experiences and memories are still a source of inspiration for his work. Hereafter he moved to London in 1997. Growing up, he wanted to do something that helped him in understanding his struggles, something that would help people, and would leave a legacy. This resulted in studying both Physics and Fine arts in college but he figured that physics would be more helpful. In his last year, he suddenly fell ill, which completely changed his life path. He was experiencing extreme migraines and intense anxiety, and upon doctors advice he started expressing himself in art through photography and other art-based practices. This period laid the foundation for his career in art, as well as the foundation for his personal style.

Tishk Barzanji cites different names as influences in his work such as Ricardo bofill, Mondrian, and De Chirico, but his main source of inspiration he says is the everyday life he observes. Tishk takes walks to analyze shadows and light, and documents small details on the streets.

Tishk Barzanji print

Tishk is thought-provoking on many levels and immediately draws the viewer in to his warm, moody colored scenes. Incorporating many layers of artistic references, symbolism, and observations his work is rich in meaning, and captivating. His work is an objective representation of our changing world, yet at the same time he expresses the feelings of those who live in it, all without judgement, and doing so he references human behavior in the current climate, making us think. And with his message, and his intention to bring a message of hope, aspiration and growth, and “that no matter the situation you are in, you can change it”, we feel like his work is a great inspiration for everyone it comes across.

See more of Tishk's amazing work, and poems on his Instagram, and website!

Image credits: Tishk Barzanji; Watermelon Tears, 2021 Tishk Barzanji, Liberate, 2018 via source
Tishk Barzanji, Pre, 2018 via source Tishk Barzanji, The Last Banquet, 2018 via source Tishk Barzanji, Transverse, 2018 via source

Further Reads:

We suggest this interview with Metal Magazine and an interview with visualatelier8.

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