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Salman Toor’s Paintings of Queer Bohemian Gatherings Are Attracting Collectors

Backed by the artist’s first museum show at the Whitney.

Pakistan-born artist Salman Toor paints intimate portraits and otherworldly compositions featuring Queer bohemian gatherings. Currently based in New York City, Toor’s works are filled with imaginary subjects accentuated with elements of fairy tales and illustrations. His figurations predominantly spotlight skinny, brown men that act as self-portraits. “I saw myself in that figure. I see myself as an amalgam of different cultures and things I’ve grown to like,” he said to Artsy.

Toor was due to present his first museum show at the Whitney Museum of American Art earlier this year, but was postponed due to the COVID-10 pandemic. Despite the postponement, the show has brought the emerging artist to the market’s attention. His work alongside pieces by other in-demand artists such as Matthew Wong, Titus Kaphar and Jordan Casteel will be auctioned off by Christie’s as part of its live contemporary day sale on December 3 in New York.

The work in question is a piece called Rooftop Party with Ghosts I (2015) and is expected to fetch a price of $100,000-$150,000 USD. Measuring at 46.5 inches by 66 inches, the painting is one part of a triptych that made its debut at New York’s Aicon Gallery during the artist’s 2015 exhibition titled “Resident Alien,” where it was purchased by the seller. In a statement, Christie’s described Toor’s style as host to “liminal and surreal scenes and intimate views of imagined everyday scenes between queer and BIPOC men unapologetically inhabiting their space through a highly stylized and painterly use of color and form.”

Get a closer look at Rooftop Party with Ghosts I (2015) above and visit Christie’s website to learn more about the sale.

Elsewhere in art, Korakrit Arunanondchai is presenting new abstract paintings at New York City’s Clearing Gallery.

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