Touching on mysticism in two-person art show
Karachi: Karachi is awash with art galleries purveying avant-garde stuff under the label of modern art or an assortment of isms, most of it being incomprehensible to the viewers, who sometimes have to feign appreciation of the works.
However, it was a breath of fresh air to view the works of two young artists at the Citi Art Gallery. Their creative energies focus on the spiritual, the mystical or the divine.
One of the works by Scharjeel Sarfaraz that stands out is ‘I turned towards thee’, a poignant work of a woman with a heavenward gaze, hands stretched out in supplication to the Almighty.
Sarfaraz happens to be a lyrical colourist: his colouring techniques, with the various hues in the sky and the blending of the shades, make it a moving work.
This work, which could be classified as expressionistic realism, makes a deep impact on the viewers’ sensitivities. It is a reflection of the Sufi school of thought. There are other works by him too that depict the Sufi vision of the universe.
It comes as a refreshing bit of news that people in the prime of their youth can have a religious bent to the extent that they would rather focus their creative talents on things sublime and remember the Creator in the days of their youth.
This value is a commodity hard to come by in today’s world.
Sarfaraz has highly impressive antecedents: he is a graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
His first solo exhibition was held at the Indus Gallery in Karachi.
Similarly, while some of Babar Moghal’s works touch on the sensual, they are basically also an exercise in the philosophic.
The best one among them is of a woman with hands folded in supplication, as if invoking a divine blessing.
However, his works are varied in their content and their message, with some bordering on the sensual, but most are surrealistic. A 1993 graduate of the Karachi School of Art, Moghal
held his first solo exhibition in 1996.