Trans Art Is Artist: Mirza Shams
Mirza N. Shams is also a core organizer with Chicago Therapy Collective. Meet our team of our team here.
Pronouns: They/them/theirs and He/him/his
Why do you want to submit your artwork to the Trans Art Is opening showcase?
Your existence offers safe spaces and sets for trans & queer cultures and intersectionalities that I value and believe that will always be on the forefront for our growing and flourishing visibility, activism, advocacy and revolution. As a queer/gender-fluid immigrant POC, I value and believe in Underground Queer Transcendance from where it all started and I need to be celebrating creative artistic and cultural engagement with the diverse trans and queer communities – growth that I would love to be a part of.
As a recent Egyptian queer/genderfluid immigrant, I advocate, raise awareness and stand up for my MENA/SWANA queer and trans communities through my art, music and visibility.
Mirza Shams artworks radiates a blend of surrealism, symbolism and psychedelic waves of queerness, gender fluidity, queer-migration, mental-emotional health, eroticism and post-colonialism. Mirza Shams has a current set of 6 Drawings, called “Six Fingers and A Ring”. Media: Drawing ● Colored pencils ● Ink ● Markers on Paper A4 measures 8.27 × 11.69 inches.
NAXÖ’s. Mirza N. Shams’s stage name, is a queer/gender-fluid Egyptian music producer, composer, pianist, keyboardist, and singer. NAXÖ’s work conjures a magical concoction that blends electronic/psychedelic waves and beats with the nostalgia of MENA/SWANA folklore and eastern classical music that captures the liminality through lyrics and their voices whispering to resist and re-imagine kinder worlds. Mirza Shams is also a therapist, advocate, and activist.
They/He was born in Al-Mansoura, Egypt in May 1990. Growing up in conservative post-colonized communities, Music and art have been always the safe haven that channels them/him to the world and vice versa. They/He has always pursued their/his creations in oppressive sittings and that pushed their/his world to the edge of life-threatening situations. At times of visibility and coming out, Pulsating their/his queerness into the world and their/his freedom from religions, sexual and gender boxes had costed them/him the right to live in Egypt anymore. Escaping from sexual and religious based persecution and discrimination, Mirza moved to Chicago in mid 2015 starting a new life, a rebirth where they/he can be who they/he are/is. Moving into a new chapter of their/his life, Mirza got to rediscover their/his attributions, contributions, explore further mind/landscapes and outshine their/his queerness through art, music, advocacy and activism. Mirza Shams has a Bachelor in Medicine and Surgery from Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Egypt. As a therapist, they/he incorporate their/his works in music and mental-health therapy settings around social, mental and emotional justice through mindfulness, queerness and cultural intersectionalities, and focusing on helping his communities around Chicago-land from queer-migration backgrounds towards their healing paths and true-self journeys.
Exploring the emotional links between art and music is like picking two different flowers from the same field to form a bouquet, each beautifully paired, complementing one another. The descriptive richness of fusion music allows for beguiling intimations of distant paradoxical emotional reactions through the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic structures while collages add to the primary intentions of the piece, containing an aesthetic formality of illusions built of colors, curves and layers, a symphony for the eye. They are different instruments playing a united melody in a strategic partnership. The visual and audible inform and shed the dark-light on each other, a union of sensations psyching in many orders. I come from a family where there is little appreciation or understanding of art and music impacts in every aspect of life that I relate to. Pursuing my creativity and artistry became a constant battle as in queer and gender fluidity, and especially as in the middle-east, Egypt. Escaping from sexual and religious based persecution and discrimination, I moved to Chicago in mid 2015 starting a new life, a rebirth. From that moment, I decided to honor my communities back home who are criminalized for their love and stand up for our love through my art, music, advocacy and activism. Mirza Shams artworks radiates a blend of surrealism, symbolism and psychedelic waves of queerness, gender fluidity, queer-migration, mental-emotional health, eroticism and post-colonialism. I have a current set of 6 Drawings, called “Six Fingers and A Ring”. The set is based on my personal ‘dream within a dream’ journey moving here to Chicago, the first 6 days, a drawing for each day. This is my first time to submit my artwork and I am so excited to be part of this. For a long time, I was in fear of sharing my artworks with the world when I was back in Egypt where my existence was degraded. Thank you wholeheartedly for creating the space and bringing our communities together.