December 14, 2017

Overseas-based Guyanese artist Siddiq Khan



Born in Guyana, artist Siddiq Khan’s family moved to Canada where he grew up. His artistic career began at an early age when he convinced his parents to buy him a paint-by-numbers kit. By 12 years of age he got a permit to sell his works at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in order to buy more kits. Before arriving in Santa Fe in the US 12 years ago, Siddiq spent time in the interior of British Columbia and Austin, TX.

In addition to mixed media works, Siddiq is also a sculptor and teaches a ceramics class at St. John’s College. He enjoys teaching because it allows him to observe and become more aware of his own process by having to verbalize techniques. Initially he took a ceramics class to get more physical with his work and to see how far he could push the medium. He utilizes ceramics in order to create a combination of painting and sculpture. The ceramic works are constructed on their sides so he never knows where their balancing points will be until they are completed. For him the process is much like drawing –but in clay. He has loose ideas about what he will make but by moving line around, the works come together organically, especially because he completes them all in one day. They take about one month to dry and then he fires them three or four times, adding colour and lines with each subsequent fire. It has taken him six to seven years to get to where he wants to be. He has moved from table top works to larger scale pieces made of wood. He uses the wood in the same manner in which he uses slabs of clay.

Guyanese artist Siddiq Khan and his son

Guyanese artist Siddiq Khan and his son

Siddiq’s mixed media works are also explorations in line. He begins by attending a live model drawing class once a week. Using charcoal, oil pastel and conté crayon, he draws overlapping images and figures. These drawings in and of themselves are wonderful. But they are not studies for larger works, nor are they completed works themselves. They become part of the fabric of Siddiq’s larger works on canvas. He tears these drawings up, deconstructing the body into separate entities that are sometimes barely discernable.

Though he does not have a regular routine for working, he estimates that he works in 2-3 hour stints with periodic breaks every day. It is a way of life and he loves the organic process and the chance elements that occur as a result. For him the most important thing is to keep doing the work. He is not trying to create something in order to sell it. He has been successful and had a market for his works because he is a wonderful person and is very interesting to talk to. He loves meeting people, and if they are gallerists or collectors – that is great, but building relationships with people is really what is important to Siddiq. (Information from

Siddiq's ceramic artworks

Siddiq’s ceramic artworks

Photo credit must appear with all use.

Photo credit must appear with all use.