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Title: "Declaration" 2006
Declaration.jpg
Painting 22" x 30"

Title: "Knowledge Wisdom Courage" 2005-2006
Knowledge.jpg
Painting 22" x 22"

The true strength of freedom lies in its diversity. In the expression of views and beliefs that are both critical and praising of our own, and this is a gift that we often take for granted. It is not until we are shown through another set of eyes how glorious the world is. It is not until the colors we have disregarded are brought to a new life that we see beauty in every moment. We welcome you here, not simply to a gallery, a street, or a city. We welcome you to a state of mind, brimming with hope and compassion.

It is the nature of fear to burrow into our lives throuch complacency. It is the unfamiliar and new that causes disrest in us not because it is wrong, but because we fear change. Shanoor has spent his life facing and being faced by this harsh reality of fear and through it has found the soothing balm of color that is his art. He desires to contrast fear and hope using the pillars of yesteryear and viewing them through the eyes of this modern era. His words are clear, written with brush and color; Fear may reside within, but Hope exists everywhere.

shanoorportrait.jpg
Artist Shanoor with "Triumph of the human spirit" acrylic on canvas

TOTO COELO

Neo-Symbolic Expressionism

A new language of art, a spirit expressed

 
In the 1990s, Chicago artist Shanoor began developing a new art form,
a bold marriage of media that celebrates the unexpected and gives
unique visual expression to the spirit within. Shanoor has termed this
new artistic language Neo-Symbolic Expressionism or Toto Coelo,
which means “extreme conditions.” As an art form, it reinvigorates
American icons by taking classic symbols to their extreme, challenging
the eye and mind to see them in a dramatic new way and expressing
a new spirituality.
 
The Celebrate Freedom collection is Shanoor’s most recent foray into
Toto Coelo. Born of his strong feelings about the indifference of man
towards man, it is an impassioned response to the tragic events of
September 11, 2001. With graphic urgency, Shanoor embraces
the symbolism of the American flag to create an emotional tribute to
the nation’s strength and unity.
 
The images of Celebrate Freedom utilize the drama of photography
wedded to the richness of oil and the stark impact of inks and acrylics. 
Their boldness vibrates both energy and change, and it speaks volumes
about the artist’s anguish, joy, grief, hope and spirit.
 

“I take pride in the generosity of this country,” states Shanoor. “Although

I was not born in the United States, I am grateful for what I have found

here – a fertile land of love, hope, dreams and most importantly, freedom. 

My recent artwork is a reaction to the injustice so often shown toward

humanity. It emphasizes my profound belief that you can’t take away

freedom; it is a basic birthright of humanity.”

 

Shanoor began painting at an early age in Europe. He was educated in

advertising design in London and studied film at the Art Institute in Chicago. 

In the 1980s, he began creating art with a camera, using acrylic painting

to underscore patterns on the negative images. His exploration of Toto Coelo,

which began in the 1990s, continues today.

 

From his earlier endeavors to help AIDS victims and those fighting

breast cancer to his current visual meditation on freedom, Shanoor has

always sought to take a stand on the events of our time, expressing

his conviction in a way that both informs and inspires. His works

have been exhibited internationally, and he has appeared on Channels 11

and 56. A recipient of numerous awards for his painting, murals,

photography and graphic design, Shanoor continues to seek new ways

to express his creativity and spirit.

 

"I believe Art is the essence of Being. Through the gray ashes of 9/11
we continue towards life and hope. Through oneness we will find strength;
through unity we find peace. When the dust
settles a new life begins,
we will always remember to uphold and cherish freedom."
 
 

©SHANOOR 2001-2009. All rights reserved.