Artist Profiles

Artist:

Asif Shaikh

Region:

South and Central Asia

Country:

India

Media/General:

Textiles

Medium of Work:

Woven, block printed and painted scarves, shawls, and home accessories embellished with embroidery

Year(s) Attended:

Santa Fe: 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018

About:

Employing strikingly elegant, meticulously crafted techniques, master Indian textile artist Asif Shaikh’s distinctive method of art-making has earned him numerous accolades. He was fascinated by the craft of embroidery from a young age, and this early interest developed into a highly refined sense of aesthetics, with a keen desire for detail and design—but also a drive to learn both traditional and contemporary weaving techniques.

Over the course of 25 years, Shaikh’s practice has only gotten more refined and distinctive. Goods include fantastically patterned, vividly colored shawls, scarves, and wraps, along with other accessories. Products are made using handwoven silk and cotton, block-printed and painted using natural dyes on different textured fabric, which is further embellished with hand-embroidered elements on a scroll frame known as “karchob.”

Karchobi embroidery was brought by the Mughals in the 16th century, under the patronage of Mughal emperor Akbar. A creative heritage that dates back many centuries, embroidery contributes to contemporary needs with social and cultural value. In the late 17th to early 18th centuries, the state of Gujarat was fragmented into small kingdoms ruled by the newabs and princess. Their lifestyle influences created consumer demands from Royal patrons for highly skilled, sculpted aesthetic products. Today, customers from around the globe can enjoy Asif Shaikh’s magnificently beautiful interpretation of these regally designed and painstakingly constructed garments.