NYARTLIFE

More Than Art ... in New York

Every month out of hundreds of submissions, we select and recognize one single artistic or creative professional who is truly distinguished in her own right. 

This month NY Art Life has selected Mahnoot Nasir Khan: a Pakistani NYC-based Photographer who is utilizing photography tell stories we otherwise would not have heard. 

NY Art Life

We are so excited to have selected you this month! It’s such an honor to discuss your achievements and your unique career. You are truly doing things that other artists are afraid to embark on. Your work demonstrates strength, confidence, courage and most importantly high art techniques that raise your work from low-brow to high-brow. 

Mahnoor 

It’s an honor to have been selected. Your publication supports so many distinguished artists and creatives. I’m humbled to be included on the roster of artists who have been featured in your publication. 

NY Art Life

Well we are excited to talk to you and get to know your work more intimately! What particularly stands out to me is your  use of black and white photography and film photography. 

Mahnoor

Yes, I use black and white film because of the details it helps to unfold – obscuring and revealing in layers, creating that push and pull for the viewer. I physically manipulate and damage my precious 35mm film negatives in non-traditional ways, scratches that appear as scars on the photographic prints. The nudity, closeness, veil of the model, and intentional markings amplify the feeling of uncertainty and spirituality as well as anger and pain.

NY Art Life 

That’s amazing. That requires dedication and attention to detail that isn’t often present in photography. In a world of iPhones, everyone feels like they can be a photographer. However, you are using very specific techniques to manipulate your medium and tell a story. 

This seems to be your style and what you are known for. How did your work change during COVID? 

Mahnoor

You can see many of my changes in my series entitled Alone. My photographs gained a depth that was unique to the COVID pandemic. 

During the time of self-isolation, I had combined my precious 35mm film negatives with the trees I captured during a recent trip to create photographic poems that are searching for inner truths, photographs being both beautiful and haunting as I explore different themes. I have digitally manipulated them in multiple exposure, solarization and reconstructed together as new photographs. These photographs have harmonized tragedy and beauty in them which helps to unfold – obscuring and revealing in layers, creating that push and pull for the viewer. In the photographs, the viewers see anger, confusion, and struggle along with beauty and tenderness. 

“Alone” was exhibited in a Two-Person Exhibit Curated by “Deborah Katz” in Long Island’s “Alfred Van Loen Gallery”. 

I also sold the photograph “Tragically Tranquil” from the Photo Series “Alone” in an Instagram Based Auction “Fine Art Share Auction”. 

NY Art Life

It’s so great to hear that you were successful even throughout the COVID pandemic. This leadership as a creative professional is paramount to the field and the industry as a whole. 

I imagine that this dedication has been recognized by different institutions. 

Mahnoor

Yes, absolutely. In addition to being a professional photographer, I have been invited to serve as a Photography Professor at multiple universities and colleges, including Five Towns College, the well-known art school. 

Teaching, for a creative professional such as myself, is an indication that your artistic technique and expertise has been accepted by the community. This acceptance means that you are now legitimate and authority in the field of photography, who is strong enough to influence the new generation of photographers. 

In addition to teaching, I have been invited to lead an artist workshop at the Queens Public Library, one of the largest library systems in the world by circulation. 

NY Art Life 

Absolutely! Your leadership in the field of photography is the primary reason for your spotlight. Not only are you a stunning photographer but you are a recognized expert shaping the new generation. 

Can you tell us more about one of your favorite achievements? 

Mahnoor

Yes, I have many accomplishments, but probably what is most important to me is my inclusion in Vogue Italy. My untitled photograph from my series Cheekh was included in Vogue Italy which is one of the largest and widely-circulated magazines in the world. The message of that series, I believe, is extremely important and the techniques that I use are know as my signature aesthetic. 

This series, as an artist, is my cry to society. Women are often regarded as a symbol of beauty and grace, but this denies some horrifying and ugly realities. It is a representation of the duality that exists in nature. These works focus on the coexistence of the sacred and profane in our lives. Women all over the world receive intentional infliction of emotional and physical distress. This often leads them to mental asylums, they often lose their families, dignity, and honor. This series explores the injustice and evil that exist in society. In my work, I look to convey awareness as well as a sense of hope. Cheekh gives a voice to hidden social norms.

NY Art Life 

That is so powerful. Thank you so much for creating work of this caliber. It’s not a surprise that you were featured in Vogue Italy. 

We are truly amazed with your work and cannot wait to see the new artworks you have created!