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Mural Arts x Fitler Club: Nazeer Sabree


Five artists from the Philadelphia Fellowship for Black Artists program will have works on display at Fitler Club for the next year. The works are for sale with 100% of the proceeds going to the artist. Throughout the year, we will highlight each of the five artists. We are pleased to begin by introducing:


Let’s get to know Nazeer…

First of all, congratulations! Not only are you featured in the Mural Arts @ Fitler Club collaboration, but you also have a show up at Paradigm Gallery through April 17. The show, curated by Ginger Rudolph, is called Represent and it includes your ‘False Face’ series. Can you share some insight into the series?

The ‘False Faces’ series is my first honest attempt at framing the world around me as I’ve seen and lived it. This work started with me looking inward and critiquing Black boyhood and what it means to be a “man”, the constant wrestle with identity, belonging, trauma, and unaddressed mental health. For the past couple of years, my work has not only served as a response to institutionalized violence against Black people, but also as an observation depicting the dichotomy of life in Black culture. Cultural nonverbal communication shows up in the “gaze” of the portraits, a reference to hypervigilance that sometimes takes place in our communities.



Throughout this process, I also asked myself how American history has contributed to the bewilderment of Black masculinity and manhood. Collaged images of negative & positive / future & past events construct a tangible reflection of what sometimes feels imperceptible in today’s climate. The constant lingering of decisions and challenges, at times, feels like a surreal physiological maze when navigating these moments. The ‘False Faces’ series is my attempt to give the world a glance at our experience.



You are a native of West Philadelphia. How do your Philadelphia roots show up in your work?

Philadelphia is a mecca of art and culture. Growing up in West Philly while also attending school in North Philly gave me such a miscellaneous yet harmonious experience. West Philly is where I was galvanized by the cultural influence found in music and creative arts. The Roots, Jill Scott, Bilal, and Musiq Soulchild were the soundtrack to all my bedroom painting sessions. Although their medium was different from mine, I was keen on translating that same energy through pictorial language.



North Philly gave me confidence. It instilled this sense of leadership in me to not only tell my story but to represent the people and communities around me. My lived experience traversing the Philadelphia landscape is deeply rooted in my work, down to the subjects I paint and the stories I tell.



You are young man — just 24 years old. What is it like navigating the art world?

I’m learning new things about the art world every day. Some of it is what I expected, other moments can feel a little odd, but I guess that’s normal. Being young in a space where almost everyone around you is much older can allow this since of imposter syndrome to creep in. I remind myself that I’ve worked hard to get here and that the success I’ve had is not at all overnight for me. This field can be very competitive and cut-throat. My community keeps me focused and grounded. People like Randy Chavez, Jesse Krimes, Russell Craig, Jared Owens, James Dupree, and Ginger Rudolph have shared their wisdom and served as guides through my toughest moments. It’s an amalgamation of many things to how I got here and where I aspire to go. I still have so much more work to do.

What is next for you?

I honestly want to keep creating, growing, planning, and not restricting myself to one medium, but rather find new ways to communicate what it is that I’m feeling. I also want to take some time to learn more about the art world and the world outside of America – more access to education and information. I plan on creating more series of work.

More Work by Nazeer Sabree



The works in this collection sit in conversation on separate journeys, celebrating the achievements of their makers. Visual vocabulary can also be cultural identity. Fitler Club’s members and guests will be able to experience these artworks as part of their time spent at the Club. All works are for sale with 100% of the proceeds going to the artist. Inquire within.



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