|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 175 cm
in meters- 1.75 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 9”
|Theme & Style||Toor's art is primarily centered around themes like LGBTQ issues, how brown men are treated in society, the experiences of young people in both public and private places, and the impact of technology on our daily lives. His paintings touch upon a wide array of subjects, ranging from the history of art to queer culture and Post-Colonialism. In his paintings, he mainly uses the figurative art, featuring figures of skinny, undernourished, and hairy men. While talking about it in an interview, he said,
"I like these seemingly undernourished and hairy bodies of color inhabiting familiar, bourgeois, urban, interior spaces. I see these boys or men as well-educated, creative types discovering what it means to live an artist’s life in New York City and in the thick of changing ideas about race, immigration, and foreignness, and also what it means to be American. Sometimes they can look like lifestyle images. They are also fantasies about myself and my community."
Some curators believe that the use of bright and saturated colours by Toor in his paintings evokes emotions in the viewers. He mainly uses green colour in his paintings and believes that the green colour brings the effect of nighttime and possesses a contradictory association with both toxicity and allure. While talking about this in an interview, he said,
"I chose green for aesthetic reasons. There is something nocturnal about it, like night vision. It’s inviting and glamorous, but it has connotations of poisonous gases and potions. But most importantly, I like that it’s not a sentimental color."
|Selected Solo Shows||• Salman Toor: No Ordinary Love, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL; Honolulu Museum of Art, Honolulu, HI; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University,Waltham, MA (2022-2024)
• Salman Toor: New Paintings and Drawings, M WOODS, Beijing, China; The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia (2022-2023)
• Salman Toor: Music Room, Hayward Gallery Billboard, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, England (2021-2022)
• How Will I Know, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2020-2021)
• Salman Toor: I Know a Place, Nature Morte Gallery, New Delhi, India (2019-2020)
• New Paintings, O Art Space, Lahore, Pakistan (2019)
• Time After Time, Aicon Gallery, New York, NY (2018)
• Short Stories, Canvas Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan (2017)
• Salman Toor: Drawings from ‘The Electrician’, Honey Ramka, New York, NY (2015)
• Resident Alien, Aicon Gallery, New York, NY (2015)
• Close Quarters, Canvas Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan (2014)
• The Happy Servant, Aicon Gallery, New York, NY (2013)
• I ♥ Kitsch, Rohtas II Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan (2011)
• New Paintings, Canvas Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan (2010)
• Three Paintings, Kahlo Gallery, Lebrón-Wiggins-Pran Cultural Center, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA (2009)
|Selected Group Shows||2023-2024
• Capturing the Moment, Tate Modern, London, England
• The New York Century: 100 Years of Imagining New York, Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY
• Beautiful, Vivid, Self-Contained, Hill Art Foundation, New York, NY
• Brave New World: 16 Painters for the 21st Century, Museum de Fundatie, Zwolle, The Netherlands
• Very Small Feelings, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi, India
• Dark Light: Realism in the Age of Post-Truths, Aïshti Foundation, Jal El Dib, Lebanon
• Manifesto of Fragility: The Many Lives and Deaths of Louise Brunet, 16e Biennale d’Art Contemporain Lyon, macLYON, Lyon, France
• Manifesto of Fragility: A World of Endless Promise, 16e Biennale d’Art Contemporain Lyon, URDLA,Villeurbane, France
• Based on a True Story, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
• Brave New World: 16 Painters for the 21st Century, Museum De Fundatie, Zwolle, The Netherlands
• Luncheon on the Grass, Jeffrey Deitch, Los Angeles, CA
• My Reflection of You, The Perimeter, London, England
• Pictus Porrectus: Reconsidering the Full-Length Portrait, Art & Newport at Isaac Bell House and Salon at Rosecliff, The Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport, RI
• Any Distance Between Us, RISD Museum, Providence, RI
• Living Histories: Queer Views and Old Masters, Frick Madison, New York, NY
• and I will wear you in my heart of heart, FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY
• Breakfast Under the Tree, Carl Freedman Gallery, Margate, England
• Drawing Biennial 2021, Drawing Room, London, England
• Equal Affections, GRIMM, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
• The Pleasure Pavilion: A Series of Installations, Luhring Augustine Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY
• Plus One, Luhring Augustine, New York, NY
• Relations: Diaspora and Painting, PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montréal, Canada; Esker Foundation, Calgary, Canada
• Art on the Grid: 50 Artists’ Reflections on the Pandemic, Public Art Fund, various locations, New York, NY
• Duro Olowu: Seeing Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
• Form & Figure: Bodies of Art, Grosvenor Gallery, London, England
• Myselves, Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
• Xenia: Crossroads in Portrait Painting, Marianne Boesky, New York, NY
• Home Is Not a Place, Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
• Likeness of Being: Portraiture in the Selfie Age, Aicon Gallery, New York, NY
• Them, Galerie Perrotin, New York, NY
•Are You Here?, Lahore Biennale 2018, Lahore, Pakistan
• Go Figure, Aicon Gallery, New York, NY
• Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi, India
• Wrech, Honey Ranka, New York, NY
• Cinephiliac: Art Transcending Technology and Motion, Twelve Gates Art Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
• Return of the Native, Rohtas II Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan
• Letters to Taseer II, Drawing Room Gallery, Lahore, Pakistan
• Stop, Play, Pause, Repeat, Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
• All About Us, Canvas Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
• Exchange Show, Montclair University MFA Gallery, Montclair, NJ
• I Think the Word Is Dignity, Lumenhouse Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
• Pratt MFA Thesis Show, Stueben Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
• Skin Deep, Kips Gallery, New York, NY
• Wound, Aicon Gallery, London, England
• Pratt in Lucca, Piazza del Anfiteatro, Lucca, Italy
|Date of Birth||Year, 1983|
|Age (as of 2023)||40 Years|
Note: He got American citizenship in 2019.
|School||Aitchison College, Lahore, Pakistan|
|College/University||• Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware Ohio, United States
• Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York
|Educational Qualification||• Bachelor's of Fine Art (Painting and Drawing), with Honors at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware Ohio, United States (2006)
• Master of Fine Art (Painting) from The Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, New York (2009)
|Relationships & More|
|Sexual Orientation||Gay Hindustan Times|
|Affairs/Girlfriends||Ali Sethi The Times of India|
|Parents||Father- Name Not Known (businessman)
Mother- Name Not Known (homemaker)
|Siblings||He has two younger siblings.|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Salman Toor
- Salman Toor is a Pakistani-born American painter. He is known for his figurative paintings based on the LGBTQ theme.
- Since childhood, he had a deep passion for drawing. He started painting at the early age of five.
- In 2012, Toor began experimenting with his paintings by featuring cartoon-like images of his friends, placing them in the contemporary world. But he kept these artworks secret for a few years. In 2015, he exhibit some of these paintings in the show “Resident Alien,” held at Aicon Gallery in New York. It was during this time that he came to the realization that he was creating something really special. However, the breakthrough moment of his career came in 2020, when he exhibit fifteen of these paintings at the Whitney Museum of American Art in his exhibition ‘How Will I Know.’
- In an interview, the artist revealed that during his childhood, he had a fondness for painting feminine images and he often chooses pretty young women with flowing hair as the subject for his artworks, which he usually borrows from his mother’s fashion magazines. In the same interview, he revealed that it was his aunt who persuade him to make drawings of sports cars. While talking about it in the interview, he said,
My aunt encouraged me to draw sports cars instead, so I drew a boxy, badly imagined vehicle with a girl’s head sticking out the window.”
- He had a solo show at the Nature Morte Gallery, in New Delhi in 2019. But, at that time, there was a tense relationship between India and Pakistan because of which he was not able to attend the show there. However, later, some of his paintings were sent to a museum in India, where they received huge appreciation from the viewers.
- Salman Toor was awarded the Painters and Sculptors Grant by the Joan Mitchell Foundation in 2019.
- On 20 October 2020, his artwork was included in an auction for the first time at Phillips Auction House in London. In the auction, his artwork titled “Aashiana” (Hearth and Home) was sold for £138,600, which was double the expected price. On 15 December of the same year, his other artwork titled “Liberty Porcelain” (2012) was sold for £378,000 at the same auction house.
- From 13 November 2020 – 4 April 2021, Toor organised a solo exhibition titled ‘How Will I Know’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, where most of his artworks were purchased by the museum benefactors even before the exhibition started.
- In June 2021, his painting “Girl with Driver” (2013) was sold at the Phillips Auction House in Hong Kong. The painting was sold for $890,000, which was five times more than the estimated price.
- In his exhibition ‘Living Histories: Queer Views and Old Masters’ (2021-2022), held at the Frick Collection, New York, his painting titled ‘Museum Boys’ (2021) was exhibited along with two ancient paintings titled ‘Officer and Laughing Girl’ (made between 1655-1660) and ‘Mistress and Maid’ (1667) made by the ancient painter Johannes Vermeer.
- In the year 2021, he produced illustrations for the book ‘Jungle Nama,’ which was written by the Indian author Amitav Ghosh.
- Salman Toor belongs to a group of LGBTQ painters named ‘New Queer Intimists.’ This group also includes other contemporary artists like Doron Langberg, Louis Fratino, Kyle Coniglio, Anthony Cudahy, TM Davy, and Devan Shimoyama.
- In an interview, he revealed that he found inspiration in artists like Van Dyck, Peter Paul Reubens, Caravaggio, and Watteau.
- In an interview, he revealed that at the beginning of his career, he used to take ideas for his painting’s subject from Pakistani advertisements. Later, when he started paying more attention to art, he began finding inspiration in ancient artforms, such as the Baroque, Neoclassical, and Rococo periods.
- Initially, Toor considered modern art to be boring and depressing. He instead used to paint modern versions of adaptations of old portraits, landscapes, and scenes from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century. In an interview, he talked about it and said,
I thought a lot of modern art was just crap—boring and deliberately depressing.” He added, “In school, I had been fascinated by Renaissance art because of the basic thing it had mastered—the realism. I wanted to be as good as those painters.”
- Salman Toor revitalized the style of figurative art and narrative, that was popular in the 1990s, in a new form by using it to openly express queerness in his artworks. While talking about it in an interview, he said,
I like bringing together the freedoms of today to disrupt the old attitudes toward gender and race entrenched in the history of European painting.”
- Some of his most notable paintings centred around queer themes stand out, including titles like ‘9PM, the News’ (2015), ‘Reunion’ (2018), ‘The Green Bar’ (2018), ‘Bar Boy’ (2019) and ‘Boys with Pink Bedsheets and Sock’ (2021).
- In August 2023, rumours about the intimate wedding of Salman Toor with popular Pakistani singer Ali Sethi emerged on the internet. However, the singer later denied the claims and clarified that he had not married Salman by posting an Instagram story. The Print Salman and Ali had been in a relationship for a long time. They met each other for the first time during an art class while studying at Aitchison College in Lahore. The Times of India