Aziz Osman - Painter


Objectives: Trained as an architect and painter for over two decades in Italy, Aziz Osman returned to his native Somalia only months before the outbreak of civil war. Barely escaping the conflict, he and his family made a new home in Minnesota. Learn about the effects of the Somali Civil War on Aziz Osman’s life and process and create a work of art with limited resources.

Tools/Resources: Garbage from bag lunch and paint.


1) Watch the segment and discuss:

a. How did the Somali Civil War change the course of Aziz Osman’s life as an artist?
b. How does he deal with the issues of war and violence in his work?

2) Canvas was too expensive for Aziz when he first moved to the United States so he had to rely on materials around him to continue painting. Cardboard from cereal boxes was the answer. In his words, “it’s your breakfast and your work.”

a. Think about all of the things that make up your lunch, leftovers, milk carton, packaging, brown paper bag etc.

i. Gather all of the trash from your lunch that is clean or can be cleaned.
ii. Using only those elements create your own work of art.

1. What is your canvas and what are you using to apply the paint?
2. How does limiting your resources change your process?

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