Hasani Claxton is a artist, educator, and author from St. Kitts, West Indies. He currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.
He studied Business Management at Morehouse College (1999) and Law at Columbia University (2003). While serving as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, he began taking evening classes at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. In 2005, he decided to pursue his passion full time and enrolled in Academy of Art University in San Francisco where he earned a BFA in illustration in 2009. He went on to get an MFA in Studio Art from Towson University in 2017.
His commissions have included book illustrations, album covers, portraits, and murals. His artwork has been exhibited in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean, including the National Gallery of Jamaica. He was on Afropunk.com’s “Best of 2014” list and his work has appeared in Spectrum: Fantastic Art and Creative Quarterly.
My paintings and sculptures highlight the individuality of Black people — a luxury often denied to us in Western society. My work is concerned with subcultures that defy popular conceptions of Blackness: Black nerds, punk rockers, bohemians, among others. Similarly, my work disregards cultural expectations, finding inspiration in Japanese anime and manga, as well as American comics. I merge the eccentric visual language of these mediums with realist painting and sculpture, thus blurring the lines between realism and surrealism, between popular culture and fine art. Each work presents a crossover of ideas, affirming that culture is itself an infinitely malleable medium.