It is interesting to note that even in this age of crass materialism and ruthless realism, there still are those who would not preclude the existence of the denizens of the netherworld that influence our lives and actions without us being aware of their existence.
These entities may be connotative of fear, hatred, jealousy and all things negative.
The exhibition of paintings and sketches by six young artists that opened at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVS) Wednesday evening is titled, “Blood/Money”.
It is supposed to be connotative of the direct relationship that blood bears to money.
The whole idea of money is related to power and consumption. The more you consume, the more powerful you get to be. The never-ending urge for money, the never-satiating desire to have pots and pots of it, is something that may even drive one to shed blood, as we see happening so often in our society where siblings murder siblings to grab property, where robbers shoot dead passers-by to grab whatever money there may be in the victim’s wallet.
However, the young, imaginative artist, Zain Ashir, of the IVS goes a step further to depict the role of all the negative emotions, represented by horrifying creatures of the netherworld, have to play in the criminal race to amass wealth His Diabolus Obcurari, depicts a devilish creature with a human form and the head of a horned creature and a scary beastly face wearing nothing but an underwear which could better be described as a mere fig leaf, and a fiery tongue protruding from the mouth, holding aloft a trident and lording over other smaller beasts.
The painting is ink, water colour, and graphite pencil on paper. The whole work is supposed to be suggestive of the morbid human urge to make a scramble for money. This is even more lucidly dealt with in his work titled, “Sacrificium”, where a satanic creature, a human form holding a pitch fork, with a canine head and spewing fire is surrounded by sun-like creatures which, according to the artist are supposed to be representative of negative emotions that clutch a person as if they were not abstractions but entities with a physical existence that drive one to indulge in all sorts of morbid things to grab power and pelf.
Besides, there are highly imaginative works by other artists depicting the correlation between power and pelf in their own characteristic way.
These are by Anum Shakil (Karachi University); Ayub Wali (National College of Art, Rawalpindi); Habib Phulpoto (CEAD-Jamshoro University); Nazir Hunzai (NCA, Rawalpindi); and Zabad Anwar (Karachi School of Art).
The theme of Habib Phulpoto’s works is lust and how it drives one to various forms of negative activity.