“Art as Prayer” January 30th Tobi Khan

The artist Tobi Khan presented on his body of work and his process of creation January 30th.  Khan is a Jewish American whose family survived the holocaust.  As a result his artwork has great religious undertones.  He also often creates memorials for tragedies and icons for churches, religious institutions, and schools.

He emphasized in his presentation that he wants his pieces to express their messages regardless of any inconveniences or mistakes that might have happened along the way.  He also talked about how the number of obstacles often make the piece more beautiful.

As a result of his background he is a very spiritual person.  He believes that he is only the facilitator for art and that there is something greater working through him.  He believes that to be an artist is to have a gift of expression, and that art is something that is taken on with seriousness.  It is not something that you choose to do but something that you were born to do.  This really connects closely to screen printing.  The majority of screen printing is just getting ready to screenprint but we can forget that the process is also art in a way.

His subject mater when he paints is really organic. For one series he focused entirely on sky and water.  Later, they used that particular room of the museum as a yoga classroom. Another interesting project he did was a mediation room for the religious leaders that were meeting with victims of 9/11.  All the colors were very mellow and relaxing.  The chairs in the room were made of soft foam that would leave an imprint when you got up.  He said that he made it this way because “when you leave the space your soul is still present” for a few minutes.

“Art as Prayer” January 30th Tobi Khan