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My name is Shahzaad Raja, I am a self taught collage artist based out of Chicago, IL. All of my work is handmade- cut from magazines, books, newspapers etc. The process of putting the different scraps together is like solving a puzzle - I try to create one coherent piece that reflects the message that I'm trying to convey. A lot of my work is political in nature, providing a commentary on different political/social issues of our time. 

My inspiration to start creating art happened in the most unexpected way. In the summer of 2018, I was on vacation in London and ventured out to the historic Camden Market. I came across a collage artist who was selling his work of celebrity portraits. The style of art was something I hadn't really seen before, I was in awe of how much detail went into each piece to create one recognizable face. It was one of those rare moments that help determine the trajectory of where your life ends up going. 

That was the start of this art journey, I adopted the collage style and put my own twist on things by using it as a way to spread a message about different issues in our time. Through my work, I try to tell stories that need to be told and I think art has a way of communicating things that sometimes words can't convey. 

 

This is a way for me to combine my two passions- creating art and giving back to communities in need. With your help, I have been able to raise and donate over $15,000 through my art for various humanitarian causes. Here are the organizations that I support through my work:

Palestinian Children's Relief fund

Refugee One

Islamic Relief

UNRWA

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