Chaos began at Chawkandi Art Gallery
The very word, chaos, evokes quite a few undesirable images. These images are often a consequence of a Back’s story that society either overlooks or doesn’t have cognizance of. But then adversity sometimes brings the best out of the people who relish challenges.
Artist Ali Karimi seems to be one such soul. This could be gauged by seeing an exhibition of his work titled ‘Chaos’ that began at the Chawkandi Art Gallery on Wednesday.
There are two strands of thought at play. One: which expresses itself through colours and shapes; two: the larger images that have a monochromatic feel to them. They seem quite different from each other both in terms of content and technique, for some are done in gouache on wasli and some in graphite on paper, but somehow they converge on the thematic level. How? Well, Karimi clearly bares his intentions by suggesting that he is trying to depict a chaotic atmosphere. This can be readily deciphered from the first group of paintings. However, with the second, bigger pieces, the artist teases the viewer successfully as he compels them to understand the difference between the visible and the imperceptible.
By painting semi-visible pictures of the characters the artist manages to draw the viewer’s attention to the struggle, harmful or innocuous, among individuals; and at the same time by making their torsos diminish he is indicating the vapidity of the situation. It is this vapidity, call it a void if you like, that’s amorphous and chaotic.
Then in the pieces where Karimi has used colours the presence of shapes, especially circles, signify the endlessness of the cycle of history — history, with all its palatable and unpalatable phases. And the historic progression of man hasn’t been an orderly one.