Tassaduq Sohail’s ‘last’ show
The press invite contained a note by Tassaduq Sohail that read it was his ‘last show’. The artist has ‘no idea’ what he will do next, it added. However, when you meet Sohail at his show at the Ocean art gallery, you will learn that this was a ‘small lie’.
“Nobody asks me about my statement that I was born in Budapest in 1873,” said Sohail, while talking to The Express Tribune. “Small lies are often caught, while the bigger ones go unnoticed. You should tell big lies. That’s how you will succeed in life.”
Sohail continued to sign copies of catalogues for his fans; humility at its best. And signing did not just mean a signatory note. The artist, whose paintings mostly sell in six-digit figures, drew little personal images for his fans then and there.
Talking about his works, the painter said that he never drew the same image more than once. “I had 10 girlfriends instead of one, so that I could have a different face to paint each time,” he said frankly.
Sohail’s definition of beauty is reserved for women alone. He said that men cannot be considered beautiful. “Men are not beautiful,” he said. “They have beards and moustaches, how can they be beautiful?” These beards and moustaches, the very antithesis of beauty, could be seen on all the male faces in his paintings.
“I love women,” said the 87-year-old artist. “The one thing that I love in this whole world is women.”
Sohail’s oil on canvas works incorporated rich imagery and fine details; the symbolism, beyond words. He uses the motif of nature to express what he feels. In one of his paintings, there was a field with tall crops ready for harvest. Among the fields were reapers; their black robes evoking the all-too-familiar image of the Grim Reaper, the personification of Death.
Sohail joked about the Angel of Death. “I am 500 years old,” he said. “I don’t give my address or phone number to anybody. The Angel of Death will find me with my phone number and I don’t plan to die for another 100 years or so.”
Filled with imagery of the woods, the walls of the Ocean art gallery provided the viewer an opportunity to relish nature. The finer details are an integral part of Sohail’s work and it is these finer details that captivated the viewers.
“I love the way he captures the images,” said businesswoman Ruqayya Habib. “I keep looking at the work and with every glance, I find something new.”
Artist AS Rind was on the same page as Habib. “Sohail is our master. His work is unique. Each day, you will see something different in the same painting. And there is always a story in his works.”
A banker, Ali Burney, bought five of the works exhibited. “I really like them,” he said. “It’s different. He is boundless.”
Khalil Ahmed, the owner of the gallery, said that Sohail is a free soul, hence the title of the exhibition, ‘The Last of Free Soul’. “His imagination is different. He sees different worlds and is quite spontaneous in his works.”
The exhibition is on display till November 23.