Self’ opens at Art Chowk
By: Peerzada Salman
KARACHI: Ask any artist what is the most difficult subject to paint or sculpt and they will invariably concede that it’s never easy to discuss one’s own self through artistic expression. The reason for it is that an artist is not just an individual as it were but, in the words of J.L. Borge, contains multitudes. Jamil Baloch is one such person.
An exhibition of his latest artworks titled ‘Self’ opened at the Art Chowk Gallery on Saturday. Seeing the exhibits on display the viewer can safely infer that by examining the self he is actually painting a larger picture and analysing the world that exists around him.
To do so, Mr Baloch uses acrylic on canvas, paper and wood. Using patterns that can baffle the viewer in terms of interpretation, he creates an environment in his art world which can be characterised as post-painterly abstraction.
There is more vividness to his ideas than obfuscation, and yet the abstraction is there. In that regard Self III [acrylic on canvas] reminds the viewer of artists like Frank Stella. However, Mr Baloch has his own individual stamp on his subject.
Two sets of exhibits score very high on the level of skill — Extremity (acrylic on paper) and Self-Similarities (acrylic on canvas). In ‘Extremity III’, he darkens the picture and places a column of faded whiteness right in the middle.
The position of the white part shifts towards the left in ‘Extremity V’ indicating the other facet (maybe impalpable) of the dark side. ‘Self-Similarities’ clearly shows the command that the artist has over his art.
The repetition of patterns plays with the viewer’s faculties in a rather smart way. These patterns also point to Mr Baloch’s background, which is full of colours and life.
The exhibition will be open till Dec 28.