Exhibition of Maurizio Boscheri’s artworks opens at Mohatta Palace museum
KARACHI: An exhibition of renowned Italian artist Maurizio Boscheri’s artworks titled Wildly Ours: Past, Present and Future of Pakistani Wildlife, curated by Mario Liberali, opened at the Mohatta Palace museum on Wednesday evening.
It is for the first time that a solo show of a contemporary Italian artist has been organised in Pakistan. Admirers of art and wildlife were delighted, in equal measure, to see the striking oil-on-canvas paintings depicting a wide range of animals found in this part of the world. His use of vivid colours amplifies both animal physiognomies and the habitat they find themselves comfortable in. Boscheri, who is self-taught, creates an environment in his paintings, primarily through vivacious colours, which allows the viewer to recognise the subject as an art form. This, in turn, reinforces the idea of a symbiotic relationship between man and nature, as espoused by Liberali in the catalogue published for the show.
Each exhibit on display is accompanied by a reasonably detailed caption, helping the viewer to know the background of the species that the artist has painted. But it is the rubric under which the detail is given that creatively captures the mood of the artwork. For example, the piece called ‘The Mother’ depicts the snow leopard in an incisive way. It is the posture of the leopard and its two cubs, not to mention their eyes, which makes all the difference. The big one has a strong gaze, the small ones have softer. According to the caption accompanying the image, snow leopard cubs usually open their eyes after seven days of their birth.
‘Pheasants of the World’ exemplifies Boscheri’s imaginative use of colours. The vibrantly plumaged big bird is a sight to behold, and no less impressive are the little ones in the foreground of the painting, especially with the detailing that has gone into making their wattles and tails.
And how could the artist have missed out on Pakistan’s national animal, Markhor! It’s very much there titled ‘The Young King’. It is a thoughtfully made artwork in which the animal’s character is highlighted by virtue of its positioning in the habitat. What further lends significance to the picture is this piece of information: “The Markhor population has declined through poaching but community led initiatives such as trophy hunting programmes have stabilised the population.”
Talking to Dawn on the occasion, Boscheri said he used oil (on canvas) because he felt it’s a strong medium to convey his message, and helped him make different kinds of images. Answering the question on the golden streak in his work, he said he liked to experiment with styles. Since the artist has lived in Sri Lanka also, he was asked if he had noticed a difference between wildlife species in different parts of the subcontinent. He said Pakistan had more animals, adding there were certain species, such as the snow leopard, that were only found here.
The exhibition, organised in collaboration with the Italian consulate, Mohatta Palace Museum and the World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan, will run for 10 days.