As the cliché goes, art reflects life. And over the centuries this particular cliché has stirred quite a bit of debate, especially among the ancient Greek philosophers. Some of them believed that since art reflected life it was a form of imitation. But other proponents of this theory believed that though art was a form of imitation in terms of efficacy and effectiveness, it had the ability to surpass the original.
Witnessing an exhibition of Imran Mudassar and Huma Iftikhar’s artworks, which opened at the Chowkandi Art Gallery on Tuesday, makes the viewer realise that both artists have neither underplayed life nor made an effort to surpass the originality of their subjects. They have kept it simple: paint life as you see it.
One cogent example of the above-mentioned observation is Imran Mudassar’s thought-provoking ‘Open Secret’ series (mixed medium on paper). He incisively places religious/spiritual graffiti (if you can call them that) as anyone would see them on street walls. They are presented as if they’ve existed there for some time therefore a lot of other stuff has appeared in the same space. As a result what the viewer notices is an abundance of messages, some of them overlapping each other, coming across as unclear yet understandable images.
Imran Mudassar takes his concern to another level where he brings together, hence into focus, the things that cause destruction on a large scale and the human body.
Here he personalises a societal issue and makes the body a symbol of both ‘cause and effect’.
Huma Ifitkhar takes a more indirect route through her ink on wasli artworks. The viewer can see and hear the sociopolitical overtones in her exhibits. The black background to each piece lends an air or obscurity to the subject but the images made in white help remove the obfuscating factors in the artworks and bring to light the artist’s concerns in an impressive manner.
The exhibition will remain open until March 19.