“It’s nice to paint aesthetically pleasing pieces to hang on people’s walls or compose songs and rhymes that they can party to. But in today's climate, it’s far more important that some portion of our work be dedicated to awakening their minds.”
Abdul Badi was born in Washington, DC but spent his formative years in Brooklyn, New York. As a young boy he had an obsession for working with his hands, particularly drawing. In elementary school he won an art contest which netted him free art classes at the Brooklyn Museum. He later went on to attend Manhattans’ High School of Art and Design, after which he worked as a draftsman and illustrator in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon completion of his military, he returned to school and completed an art program at Mercy College at Dobbs Ferry, New York. Over the years he has worked in commercial art field and has taught art. He has also won prizes and recognition in many juried art shows and sold numerous works. He has become known for vibrant portrayals of African people. He spent years as a pastel painter but of late works almost exclusively in oils. He has also expanded his subject matter to include social commentary. He uses his brush to make strong, thought-provoking statements about the life struggles of African-American people and the human condition in general.