Skill and art -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Skill and art

By: Peerzada Salman

KARACHI: Sometimes obvious symbolism in art can put off the viewer. The only way to steer clear of that path is to skilfully highlight the aesthetics involved in an artwork. A good artist does that quite imperceptibly, which is why when art lovers see his work they tend to marvel at his skill and symbolism takes a back seat to play second fiddle to the totality of an artwork.

Qamar Siddiqui is a skilful artist. Add to this his ability to understand the effectiveness of playing around with symbols and metaphors. They elevate a work of art to a different level. This can be seen at a new exhibition of his acrylic-on-canvas works, Reality of Life, which is under way at the Chawkandi Art Gallery.

Mr Siddiqui uses the combination of red and white colours to elicit multiple meanings. Both colours can be interpreted separately and at the same time combine to impart meaning to the artworks. Red is bold, almost blood red.

In his own words, red to the artist represents the materialistic pursuits in life whereas the colour white stands for purity and spirituality. This is arguable because the viewer does not always construe these colours in that way. To him, red can conjure an image not necessarily materialistic. But that’s open to debate.

It has to be said that what stands out in Qamar Siddiqui’s works is his skill. The precision with which he draws lines particularly when he draws the female protagonist is impressive. An example of it is an artwork from the ‘In Between’ series that has yellowish background. The contrasting red and white images are highlighted in ‘In Between IV’ and here the artist’s explanation for the two colours’ distinctness looks plausible. The bottom line is that it is a crafty exhibit.

The exhibition will be open till Oct 23.

Dawn