Abdulaziz “Aziz” Osman is a highly-regarded painter living in Columbia Heights, MN.
Aziz is motivated by a lifelong love of painting and creates work informed by impressionism and abstract expressionism. Born in Mogadishu, Aziz received a scholarship in 1968 to attend the University of Architecture in Florence, Italy, and quickly transferred to a program in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts. Aziz painted in Italy and traveled around Europe displaying his work until 1989, when he returned to his native Somalia.
Painting is not an art form derived from Somali tradition, but in the cosmopolitan city of Mogadishu, Aziz found broad acclaim and inspiration. In 1991, however, Aziz was forced to leave Somalia as a result of the civil war. The same year, Aziz and his wife Fadumo Elmi made Minnesota their new home.
Today, Aziz creates innovative abstract work, as well as paintings depicting traditional life in Somalia and sculptures rooted in African styles. He hopes to help young Somali artists find outlets for their creativity, and to use his paintings as a forum to inform the public about Somali culture and art.
In Minnesota, Aziz’s paintings have been displayed at the Somali Museum of Minnesota, Made Here, Hennepin County Medical Center, Thrivent Financial, African Development Center, Midtown Global Market, and more.