A self-trained artist who emigrated from Somalia via Denmark in her twenties, Uman (b. 1980, Somalia) has for the past several years lived and work in upstate New York. A sense of displacement pervades her practice, as black and gold silhouettes of camels and water vessels abut collaged and painted self-portraits that are at once glamorous and grotesque. Disused and salvaged pieces of furniture become talismanic sculptures that carry textual poetic interlocutions and fuse with animal bones as homespun ritual objects. The eerie stillness of a bird in the rural night becomes an avatar for the artist herself, a cipher of a self-crafted identity of a singular strength. You can see how she translated her style into a coloring book page in Between the Lines: An RxART Coloring Book by Contemporary Artists – Volume 9.
Uman lives and works in upstate New York. She has had solo shows at White Columns, NY (2015); Louis B. James Gallery, New York (2016); Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris (2017); and at the Outsider Art Fairs in New York and Paris and 1-54 Fair for Contemporary African Art, NY among others. Uman collaborated with Bjarne Melgaard on exhibitions at Ramiken Crucible, New York, and the ICA, London (both 2012).