Shahid Rassam is a celebrated contemporary Pakistani-Canadian painter and sculptor who was born in Hyderabad in 1971. He was brought up among great writers and poets. His name Rassam (meaning, the artist) was given to him by the legendary poet Jaun Elia.
The artist received his primary and secondary education from the Government School in Korangi, Karachi. Rassam has a post-graduate degree in Geology and one in Urdu Literature from University of Karachi. Known to be passionate about Philosophy, History and English Literature he considers himself a devoted student and an avid bibliophile. British Council awarded a scholarship to the artist for Central Saint Martin College of Art, London in 1999. He dabbles in writing and is a compassionate human rights activist and educationist. Since 2016 he has been the Principal of the Arts Council Institute of Arts and Craft, Pakistan. Having spent considerable years in Dubai, London and Toronto the artist currently resides in Karachi, Pakistan. Rassam has been invited by many prestigious universities including the Al-Ain University, Boston University, JNUT Delhi, University of Toronto, J J School of Art in Mumbai, and Shanti Nikaytan in Kolkota. He has also been invited to literary conferences across Pakistan (Aalmi Urdu Conference) and abroad (Rekhta, India) to read literary papers. His writings have been published in newspapers and literary journals.
Rassam has exhibited his works around the world, including UK, USA, Canada, France, Italy, UAE, India, and Pakistan. The eminent art historian and art critic Dr. Akbar Naqvi has authored “Sense and Insanity”, a book about his work and life, which was published in 2016.
Rassam serves as a bridge between various genres of art and prominent writers alike, including such stalwarts as Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi, Anwar Maqsood, Zehra Nigah, Iftikhar Arif, Kishwar Naheed, Gulzar, Jaun Elia and M.F. Hussain who have continuously praised his extraordinary contribution to the world of art.
Over time, Rassam has practiced and experimented with various mediums like, oil painting, watercolor, acrylic, mixed media, sculptures in gun-metal, newsprint drawings with charcoal and the monoprint technique. He has also done commissioned portraits of world famous leaders, writers and poets like Nelson Mandela, Benazir Bhutto, Justin Trudeau, Hazel McCallion, Salman Taseer, Hillary Clinton, Shahbaz Bhatti, Pope Francis, Malala Yousafzai, Jaun Elia, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Mushtaq Ahmad Yusufi, Anwar Maqsood, Dr. Abdul Salam and Alice Munro to name a few.