Two good signs
KARACHI: When artists internalise an issue they impart a universal appeal to it. This so happens because more often than not it is through the prism of the ‘self’ that they see society’s ills. This ‘self’ absorbs all kinds of issues, individual as well as collective. What distinguishes them from the rest of the lot is that they give tongue to the ideas that others feel but cannot, or do not, articulate. Asad Hussain and Farooq Mustafa are two artists whose works have a strong individual streak and yet they hold up a mirror to society quite convincingly. This can be seen at an exhibition of their latest artworks titled ‘2 Signs’ which is under way at the Canvas Art Gallery.
Both Mr Hussain and Mr Mustafa are exceptional people. They use medium as message and turn their message into medium. This they do with such smartness that the viewer gets so immersed in the artworks that he does not know which to appreciate the most, medium or message.
Mr Hussain uses metal-sheet paint to put his thoughts across. The shine that comes off his pieces and the mirror in which the viewer can see himself is an intelligent play on how society suffers from delusions. His titles ‘Random of Conspiracy’ and ‘Long March’ have strong political overtones. Don’t be misled by it. The personal in the impersonal is indicated by the ubiquitous presence of an animal. But that animal too can be construed a result of societal goings-on and therein lies the charm of the artist’s work.
Mr Mustafa’s mixed media pieces take the viewer on an aesthetic journey. However, it does not take enough time for the viewer to realise that the journey is not hunky-dory all the way through. The artist draws a beautiful painting and names it ‘It’s Too Personal to Share With You’. The red blotches in an artwork ironically titled ‘Exquisite’ help the viewer get the ‘drift’ of his arguments.
The exhibition will continue till Feb 28.