Craving praise in the colour of blood
“Aaj ka din bhi aish sey guzra, sar se paa tak badan salamat hai [It was a day of leisure today, , I am safe from head to toe]”. Perhaps when Jaun Elia came up with this verse, he must have little or no idea that in a decade’s time, it will become relevant in everyday life of a Pakistani citizen.
Violence, terror and fear have inarguably encroached upon our day-to-day life. It indeed has become an elephant in the room for people. Where it has dented the economy, sports, and socio-political dynamics of the country, at the same it has also deeply affected the artistry of Quddus Mirza.
Flanked by his admirers, Mirza told The News, “An artist is a part of the society, he feels it, he has an eye on his surrounding and he responds to it with his work. Don’t expect him to come up with any answer, his expertise lies in his ability to express.”
Mirza’s paintings are indeed intimidating – a clear manifestation of modern art focusing on body parts separated in a format that echoes an elementary primer, bone drawn as if scattered around canvas, drawings of decapitated men and women, human beings confronting each other with weapons in their hands, and letters of alphabet connecting pain to painting.
The paintings’ centre focus is its subjectivity resting behind the intensity of pain associated with the urge of violence embodied in our collective societal behaviour at home, in our attitude towards others and in our ‘thirst and hunger’ for blood-soaked and sensational ‘breaking news’.
But it is the representation of the work which was conveyed through using words along with pencil lines and brushstrokes which reveals multiple dimensions of our prevalent grim realities.
Sameera Raja, the curator and owner of the Canvas Gallery, calls it, “the art of deconstruction”. She said to present an art through childish naivety was a distinction in its own and Mirza had successfully achieved that.
“You can learn to paint in some years’ time, but to return to your instinctive child art is something which is difficult to grasp,” she added.
Nadia Shaukat, an art lover, believes that Mirza`s pieces are an extension of the flashy newspaper and television reports, through colours and canvas. Malizeh Sheikh said each painting of an artist speaks about the pain we all are going through.
Mirza’s work is clearly distinctive, as the surreal experience to derive pleasure from pain and agony is seldom witnessed and complex yet substantive to understand.
The art lovers can experience the maestro’s work till November 19, Thursday, from 11am to 8pm, at the Canvass Gallery. To sum it up with the words of Jaun Elia, “Rang har rang mein hai daad talab, khoon thookun to wah wa kijiye [I crave praise in every colour, laud when I spit blood.”
An artist is a part of society; he feels it, he has an eye on his surrounding and he responds to it with his work. Don’t expect him to come up with any answer, his expertise lies in his ability to express — Artisit Quddus Mirza