Abdullah Aziz was born in Harlem, New York and received his education in Manhattan. He is basically a self-taught artist who continued his education by studying graphics for eight years with Irving Aman. Aziz is one of the founding members as well as the first art director of the Weusi Gallery.
Aziz has often been spoken of as the consummate artist. His work encompasses many dimensions of artistic endeavor. Indeed it attests to that rare ability of creativity to capture the dignity, grace, beauty and spiritual vitality of African people throughout the world. His limitless ability in the use of color, pattern and linear qualities commemoration of African ancestry and the environment is internationally known. On numerous occasions, Aziz has been commissioned to do other forms of art.
Some of his early works won prizes from the Village Art Center, Twentieth Century Art Creators and from the Collectors of American Art in the medium of graphics. He also won prizes in Rome, Italy, and Germany, and has been awarded a Bachelor Degree as well as the Benin Award for twenty-five years of artistic endeavor. His work has received international acclaim. He was chosen to design a ceremonial banner for the internationally known dancers of Senegal, a banner that is now part of the country’s national archives.
Some of his paintings are also in private collections of Prime Minister Forbes Burham of Guyana and is also part of that country’s permanent collection. Others who have his work in their private collections are Mrs. Sidney Portier, Mrs. Malcolm X and a former Prime Minister of Brazil, to name a few. Aziz’s work beautifies the offices of the First Harlem Securities and was recently chosen as part of a collection for the Harlem State Office Building.
Aziz has taught art at the Store Front Museum in Jamaica, Long Island, and Georgetown, Guyana. He has given lectures and demonstrations at numerous community centers, colleges and universities.
Hunter College, Stoneybrook University, Bronx Community College, Afro-Community Cultural College, Afro-Arts Cultural Center, Malcolm X Cultural Center, Afro-American Social Workers National Conference, NAACP Art Exhibition, International House, Rutgers University, Karibu Gallery, Medger Evers College, Riverside Baptist Church, Lafayette Theatre, New York Bank of Savings, Village Out Door Show, New Haven Out Door Show, Brooklyn Out Door Show, Harlem Out Door Show, Modern Art Museum, Harlem State Office Building, First Harlem Securities Stock Exchange, New York State Building, Weusi Gallery
Portraits Without Faces
The concept behind Abdullah Aziz’s style of painting is that to some, it is felt the face gives personality or character to the human form and being thought of as a human characteristic. This is not always true. Personality and character can be represented in gesture, hands, clothing, surroundings, etc. These examples are in the paintings of Abdullah Aziz.