Moeen Faruqi’s work showcases cities’ urban estrangement world over
KARACHI: Renowned artist Moeen Faruqi has introduced new concepts at his recent show at Canvas Gallery, bringing out the urban estrangement that is characteristic of not just Karachi but urban settings all over the world.
Faruqi’s paintings explore the sense of detachment that he believes is characteristic of all urban lifestyles. The faces of both men and women in his work appear remote. “They are paintings [about Karachi] but these can refer to any big city of the world as the people in large cities share the same urban culture,” he said while talking to The Express Tribune on Friday.
“This time I have played differently with visuals in some of my paintings,” says Faruqi. ‘Jinnah Mazar’ and ‘95 Jamshed Road’ are two simple sketches that represent urban life in white, yellow and orange colours. Faruqi has introduced these colours differently this time in this particular work – as opposed to the multi-coloured nature of his other acrylics on canvases.
To Faruqi, a sense of alienation prevails among people because they are migrants. “Whether they have migrated from another rural area or some other city, people lack the sense of belonging,” he says.
Another noticeable feature of Faruqi’s paintings is the men and women, sometimes as separate entities, at others, as single. The artist describes their relationships both with the presence and absence of romance. “In cities, because people are migrants there are less of family relationships,” he says. “The only relationships you see is between strangers and not among cousins as it used to be in the old days.”
Why the presence of a fish every now and then? The artist says that it is meant to comment on the phrase of a fish out of water. “I leave it open for viewers to draw whatever meaning they want to [draw] out of it,” he says.
The artist has also thoroughly used acrylic as his choice of medium except for one, the ‘Blue Room’ series, which is an oil-on-canvas work. When asked about his choice, he says that there is no particular comfort in working with acrylics but he has been using them. “Acrylics are brighter, stronger and have a different feel to it,” he explains. “In the next show, there may be oil that I might work with.”
The show will run till March 24.