Salman Toor

Cheryl Sim on the work of Salman Toor



Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Salman Toor came to the US to attend Ohio Wesleyan University in 2006. He studied Western academic painting while also immersing himself in the work of modern Pakistani artists such as Amrita Sher-Gil. His diasporic experience has brought about a practice that brings his everyday life as a queer, Brown man into contact with his personal art historic lens. Recent works have focussed on kinship and community, depicting apartment party scenes or intimate moments alone in one’s room. Another area of exploration is the experience of immigration – not the voyage, but the arrival, which explores the ways in which Brown men are targeted and scrutinized by customs officials, specifically in after 9/11 and the Muslim ban. One of the things Toor does so poignantly is to paint vulnerability, which engages our empathy, and brings us into the frame.

About Salman Toor

Salman Toor was born in Lahore, Pakistan in 1983. He lives and works in New York City. Toor received his Masters of Fine Art (Painting) at Pratt institute in Brooklyn in 2009. His paintings are figurative, varying in scale and style, ranging in subject from Art History, Queer Culture, and Post-Colonialism. Toor has had several solo exhibitions in the U.S. and Pakistan and has participated in significant group shows such as the Kochi Biennale (2016). A recipient of a 2019 Joan Mitchell Foundation grant, Toor has been profiled in a number of publications, including Interview, W Magazine, ArtAsiaPacific, Foreign Policy, THEM, GAYLETTER, The Friday Times, Hyperallergic, and The New York Times. His solo show, How Will I Know, opened in early November 2020 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

Interview with Salman Toor - PHI Foundation


Artist Website:

Video Resources:

Panel Discussion with RELATIONS Artists 4/4 – PHI Foundation