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Jan Agha

MA work

The [C]One Never Lies

I Like Old School Propaganda

The painting is based on a self-created offshoot of an Abrahamic lore where demons masked as sages are battling over the start of a new religion. They chose to fight between putting death, power, hierarchy or fear as a sacred impulse. Their gestures of inhuman expression encapsulate the event, along with super-saturated colours that highlight their aggravated trance. 

Melancholy Window

This piece is inspired by the vision of Hay Ibn Yaqzan, where through intellect alone he reaches the state of enlightenment. Where he is greeted by the vision of one thousand faces and one thousand mouths praising God. But instead, this piece with all of its fragments is a tear in the psyche of a displaced nomad who is I. 

These grimaced oblong head have rights and rituals which are as strange as they are, instead of dust they have crusts of gold. They are chosen but they have nowhere to go. They create a space where the most genuine relationship is between angst, the viewer and the paintings.

The heads are decapitated pictured up close. They have no hands to defend, no words to mimic.they just have their idiotic stare. It seems to be of malice but close it is of bliss dipped in despair. They express they endure and observe.

The [C]One Never Lies

[C] Its the broken box with a blinded half eye. This is the opening to the true bliss, unstoppable craving for Ishq-e-Majazi the love for the divine. This is the symbol when one spirit awakens and shakes the transparent mould of the ideal. There is no ideal here or ideal being. There is only an ideal destination. The end. The cone of the fool is unauthentic, not blessed by the ^ class. 

The fool forgets to wear pants. The fool talks to God, the fool is blessed by God. And before you know it, the shunned idiot’s cap is as glorious as the steeple of a gilded sacred temple in the mountain. The fool if of course just a fool. He should be killed. 


  • MA Degree


    School of Arts & Humanities


    MA Painting, 2018

  • Jan Agha (born in 1986) is a Pakistani born artist but travelled widely even from a young age. A traveller, vagabond that makes his identity, oeuvre and stories through the process of taking apart constructs of visual and social nature, whilst establishing his own religion/ symbolism/ deities/ saints and when called, they all line up, speak different tongues, they gather under the banner of awkward nomad existence. Like the Tower of Babylon, or like Rome, they welcome all mischievous deviants. 

    Between 2005–2008 Jan spend his time with mystics and performance artists while working as an estate agent. But due to a severe accident had to stop all practices. In 2013 Jan Agha chose to do art against the wishes of his family and peers. He started his BA in Fine Arts at the University of Hertfordshire, where he graduated in 2016. Jan Agha then continued his studies where he pursued painting doing an MA from the Royal College of Art (graduating in 2018). During his BA at the University of Hertfordshire Jan Agha concentrated on scroll-like paintings, which were focused highly on narrative. Whereas in his MA at RCA he was fascinated with the confrontation of expression gateways and in duality. Jan Agha is currently based in Stoke-on-Trent in the UK, known as the home of ceramics, which has contributed to his exploration into the material of clay.

    Jan Agha recognises himself as an oriental painter who likes to explore the impulses of self and the cultural barriers built around him without using any native cultural references. Instead, he uses the impulses that are provoked from arriving from a different background into a contemporary society, and aim to make religious and cultural iconography of his own. The colours Jan Agha uses are rhythms that explore intimate feelings such as angst, infatuation and sexuality. From super-sacred to hyper-sexual, his work explores the figure, flesh and the alchemy of paint. Immensely interested in history mysticism and the occult. Jan Agha's motif of the cone which is one borrowed from his first ever lesson in drawing. A fragment of a deconstructed face. It represents the boy with intense imagination to the fool who restricts communication in order to remain in the divine cradle of creative influx. His paintings are a gateway to psychologically charged portraits, with mark making that has it's roots in Persian academicism.

    In his most recent work, Jan Agha wants to define the relationship between a lost object and a lost individual, to a found object and a found individual. As a ghost whisperer between the archaic and the modern. His paintings are like talismans, that are blessed with colours. While the act of creating summons a bridge between Jan and the divine. 

  • Degrees

  • BA Fine Art, University of Hertfordshire, 2016
  • Exhibitions

  • Thumbnails, Hockney Gallery, London, 2018; WIP, Royal College of Art, London, 2017; Newcomers Exhibition 2017, Valentine's Clay, Stoke-on-Trent, 2017; FBA Futures 2017, Mall Galleries, London, 2017; Free range, Truman Brewery, London, 2016; Les Enfants Agités, Courtyard Arts, Hertford, 2016