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In his latest paintings, Salman Toor meditates on his life as a gay artist who divides his time between two diametrically opposite communities: New York, where he can live and love openly, and his hometown of Lahore, Pakistan, where the dictates of family and religion demand that he suppress his identity.

New York-based artist Salman Toor’s brushstrokes place young queer brown men in scenes of love, friendship, and solitude in his luscious oil paintings. In Time After Time, his ongoing exhibition at Aicon Gallery in Manhattan, he challenges the systematic exclusion of queer men of color from art history.

It is their distanced view of home and their shared struggles and romances in New York that brought Pakistani poet Hasan Mujtaba and artist Salman Toor together for this collaboration. 

Salman Toor’s (b. 1983) works have ranged from meticulously executed 17th century-style genre painting to abstracted figuration employing design elements and visual language from both Eastern and Western pop culture. Toor’s work deals with the issue of identity

Salman Toor is the best kind of contemporary painter: funny, insightful, and not afraid to get personal. His colorful, figurative images are both intimate and relatable, featuring crowds of people engaging in romantic or imaginative adventures, filled with references to the artist’s many travels and international background.

Salman Toor’s insular scenes of life in Pakistan have vanished. Instead ghosts, hobos, poets, exiles, counts, ascetics, rabble-rousers, vagrants, and partygoers inhabit a no-man’sland where time stands still.

A Brooklyn- and Lahore-based Pakistani artist, Salman Toor returns to Aicon Gallery for his second solo show with 20 new paintings, both large-scale and small.