BASHA is an artist...
who creates original graffiti and abstract art. Born in Lahore, Pakistan he is fluent in English, Punjabi & Urdu. He prefers Punjabi. Urdu’s too polite; plus the curse words in Punjabi roll off the tongue much better. Hot tempers run in the family.
BASHA first discovered graffiti from his high school friend Jeff (Eager, RIP) who showed him the bible of modern graffiti in the book ‘Subway Art’. After that, nothing was the same. Graffiti became his world. It was eat, sleep, graffiti. He chose the name BASHA as it means ‘king’. Graffiti came naturally to BASHA, creating big bold letters with intricate fill in designs. The design work is inspired by his father, who is a goldsmith specializing in hand engraving 22K gold. BASHA: The goldsmith’s son.
After winning several art shows, BASHA created a clothing line called BKW (BASHA Knapps Where?) It consisted of graffiti art with clever reworked pop culture logo’s into gang designs. This was in the mid-nineties and BASHA was submerged in the golden era of hip-hop. Unfortunately, gangs and violence were a huge problem in his life then. Graffiti literally saved his life, keeping him away from a lot of bullshit.
He initially sold the apparel out the trunk of his car. A teacher who supported his hustle got him featured in a front page newspaper article. The article gained the clothing line a lot of notoriety and was distributed by several stores. After seeing his shirts worn by kids everywhere. The entrepreneurial spirit set in and after the success of the clothing line he opened a hip hop shop called ‘The Hop‘ selling apparel, music and custom art.
BASHA wasn’t any ordinary teenager. He was a high school student by day and a serial entrepreneur by night. Upon graduating high school, he joined the United States Air Force and was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. When he returned home, he followed in his mom’s footsteps and became a restaurateur. Winning a twenty thousand dollar grant from the Salt Lake City business council. He opened two more restaurants and although they were successful, the hours were long and demanded a lot of attention. He eventually sold his restaurants to focus on his true passion of being a full-time artist.
With years of experience and the need to reach out to the world from his home in Salt Lake City, Utah. BASHA is self-taught in graphic design, photography, directing and editing videos and moving images.
BASHA sold his first major painting overseas to Switzerland in 2006. Over the years, BASHA has designed for several apparel manufacturers and has sold hundreds of original artworks and continues to sell worldwide. All of BASHA’s paintings feature hidden messages with thoughts written on the back. They give collectors a glimpse into the mind of the artist. He values his collectors and supporters greatly and gives a lot of extras with every painting sold.
His father instilled the importance of charity. His family is heavily involved in charitable donations. Beginning in November of 2012, they started a non-profit organization called Art Over Destruction that organizes art workshops and donates art supplies to underprivileged children. Graffiti art saved his life from gangs and violence in high school. This is his contribution back to the community.
BASHA is an abstract graffiti artist who’s paintings are contradictions containing intense maximalist Black and White designs over a minimalist color background. His improvisational designs are revealed to the viewer over the course of three years and are painted with an extreme intensity. Three years because of the mental anguish he endured after a life changing trip to Beijing in 2013. Three years because that’s how long it painstakingly took to create the BASHA Meets Abstract works.
His color schemes are orchestrated in a manner to radiate a calmness and inspire curiosity. Self taught with twenty-three years experience, he favors painting original one of a kind works. BASHA’s works show simplicity at the top which he refers to as the upstairs, mixed with extreme complexity at the bottom called the downstairs.
The top of BASHA’s paintings represent: Peace, Love, God, Relax.
The bottom of his paintings represent: Chaos, Life & Death, Stress, Passion.
Press / Shows
2006 Professional Art Career Started
2006 First International Painting Sold, Zurich, Switzerland
2007 Published in “Full Spectrum” Graffiti Art Magazine
2007 Then There Were Two, BASHA & Mohammed Ali, Mural Collab, Birmingham, U.K.
2008 Published in “Art Of Everyday Joe” Book By Michael K. Corbin
2009 Thickens, First Solo Exhibition, Aperture gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
2010 BASHA Meets Abstract, Group Exhibition, Art Access, Salt Lake City, UT
2011 Published in “Art for the People” Book by Michael K. Corbin
2011 BASHA Meets Abstract 2, Group Exhibition, Urban Arts Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
2012 ArtOverDestruction.org Non-Profit Organization Launched, Salt Lake City, UT
2013 Primary Children’s Hospital, Ten Original Paintings Donated, Salt Lake City, UT
2013 The Following, Group Exhibition & Art Workshops, Beijing, China
2014 Submerged In Art, Group Exhibition, Urban Arts Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT
2014 300 Plates, Group Exhibition, Art Access, Salt Lake City, UT
2015 Coronation Clothing Co. Apparel Design, Newport beach, California
2015 MOD A Go Go, Group Exhibition, Salt Lake City, UT
2016 UrbanDisgust.com, Magazine Blog Interview, New York City, NY
2016 BASHA Art Presentation, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA
2017 3 Square Gallery, Group Exhibition, Fort Collins, CO
2017 BASHA: The Goldsmith’s Son One, Solo Show, Los Angeles, CA
2017 BASHA: The Goldsmith’s Son Two, Solo Show Two, Salt Lake City, UT
2017 Phillips Gallery, Group Exhibition, Salt Lake City, UT
2017 Impact Hub Art Gallery, Solo Show, Salt Lake City, UT
2017 Phillips Gallery, Summer Group Exhibition, Salt Lake City, UT
2017 BASHA Worldwide Gallery Opening, Salt Lake City, UT
2017 Art Meets Fashion Live Painting, Salt Lake City, UT
2017 Published article in Salt Lake Magazine