Ajmal Millar was born in 1986 to Trinidadian immigrants in Brooklyn, NY. He is a contemporary visual artist and carnival costume (mas) designer. He currently lives in Atlanta, GA and has created carnival costuming (mas) for over twenty years. Proud of his Trinidadian heritage, he finds ways to introduce it to the audiences here in the United States. The traditions and culture of Trinidad were instilled in him from an early age and it’s contributed to his point of reference and the voice of his work. His art suggests how growing up in a household dedicated to creating colorful costumes influences his paintings. Conversely, he typically depicts how the influences of society affect his costume designs/themes. The subject matter of his art range from issues dealing with identity as a first generation African American man, Caribbean heritage, dreams and the power of positivity/spirituality. With art as a vehicle, he has the ability to mix it all up in mixed media collage paintings, wire sculptures, and the Caribbean performing art known as mas. His art is colorful, abstractly inspired, surreal, and usually composed of various found items. He believes his art is a full extension of who he is and experiences it as an organic process to express suppressed feelings, depict his life and comment on the world we live in.
Ajmal is a self taught artist with a B.A. in English from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. In pursuit of his artist career, he studied at The Art Students League of New York in 2012. In addition, he has worked at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and The High Museum of Atlanta as a youngster. He has also participated in the Opening/Closing Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympics, where he had the opportunity to perform in a costume by his idol and iconic costume designer Peter Minshall. From there until now, he continues on the path of sharing himself for art's sake.
Ajmal is a freelance costume designer and artist with experience in creating mixed media paintings and a specialty for making carnival costumes from found objects.
· Intern at The High Museum of Art- June-Sept 2003
Assisted in facilitating summer programming for youth through the Arthur Blank Family Fellowship Program
· Lead Costume Designer - May 2012
Designed and created the carnival costumes for Calabash Alley Masqueraders’ 2102 portrayal of Mirror Mirror
· Exhibition facilitator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art- Aug-Dec 2012
Facilitated and oversaw the acceptance and enforcement of guidelines for navigating the roof top structure Cloud City
· Exhibitor- Nov 2012
Displayed the painting, When You Plant a Seed at DBGM Art Exhibit in Harlem, NY
· Lead Costume Designer- May 2013
Designed and created the carnival costumes for Calabash Alley Masqueraders’ 2013 portrayal of CELEBRATION
· Freelance Costume Designer- Aug 2013
Created masquerade headpieces and masks for CW’s The Originals (episode 103)
· Freelance Costume Designer- Feb 2014
Created Mardi Gras headdresses and goddess crowns for CW’s The Originals
· Lead Costume Designer- May 2014
Designed and created the carnival costumes for Calabash Alley Masqueraders’ 2014 portrayal of Out of this World
· Freelance Costume Designer- Jul 2014
Created cardboard werewolf and zombie masks for CW’s The Originals
· Exhibitor- Jul-Aug 2014
Displayed paintings at various community art events held by TUC magazine
· Exhibitor- Nov 2014
Displayed paintings at KIPP South Fulton Academy for their 12th Annual Parent Appreciation breakfast
. Freelance Costume Designer- Feb 2015
Displayed costumes and performed in New Orleans Mardi Gras parade
. Exhibitor- Feb 2015
Displayed and sold artwork at the February RAW art show, "PRESENT"
- Exhibitor- Feb-Mar 2015
Participated in a group show at the Apache Cafe for Black History month called "DA Corporation."
Displayed a piece entitled "When the Trumpet Blows."
. Exhibitor- March-April 2015
Participated in a group show at the Apache Cafe called "Purple."
Displayed a mixed media painting entitled "School Lunch."
· Morehouse College Aug 2004-May 2008
Graduated with a BA in English
· The Art Students League of New York Sept 2012-Jan 2013
Attended classes for mixed media painting and collage with mARTha Bloom