the artist and the self
PINSTORY, 35mm slide film – Farina Alam
Recently I got a forwarded email from R.M.Naeem who is a teacher and a renowned painter. He was my instructor at NCA in 2003. Although he and I have very different opinions and we don’t agree eye-to-eye on many things, he is one of the few people who don’t read a threat into my ramblings and treats me and my opinions with respect. I’ve also gotten to talk to Naeem Sahab on many occasions about the issues that plague the art market and institutions in Pakistan. He is very prompt and direct in his reply – he acknowledges the politics very strongly and has decided that rather than be affected by it he will do his own lobbying – hence the RM Naeem residency for artists, group shows, talks etc. that include many from his own ‘school of thought’.
Coming back to where I started off – the email. Most recently he shared the photo-album from the show ‘MEIN’ – ‘The Artist and the Self‘, a group show curated by Noorjehan Bilgrami and AmeanJ. The exhibit opens in February at the Koel Gallery Karachi and showcases the work of more than 80 artists! Now that’s an ambitious selection, but apparently the grand size of it is due to the 3rd anniversary of the gallery.
I saw through the album and as is to be expected from such large exhibits there are ALL kinds of works included. Famous artists, not-so-famous artists, great works, bland boring works, experimental works, replicated works… and so on and so forth. I’m including a selection of images here that truly caught my eye and thought I should share them on my blog. Go see the show and tell me how it was!
The first two images posted here are by print-makers/painters Anwar Saeed and Naazish Ata-ullah (more fondly known as Najji), who also happened to be my tutors for the entire year of 2004. Both Anwar sahab and Najji are showcasing digital works that are quite fascinating. Regarding Najji’s work, you might be interested in checking out an earlier post of mine that discusses nudity and sexuality in contemporary Pakistani art –> Naked – literally & figuratively.
I have seen the video by Amra Khan, stills from which are posted below. It is macabre, nauseating and f***ing brilliant. I don’t know why I loved it but it made me shudder and equally connect at some very demented level. I find Masooma Syed’s work intriguing mainly because I find her intensely intriguing. Her work is complex and intertwined chaotically with her own personal life and often results in some very quirky artwork. Other works posted here are by Amin Gulgee, Mohammad Ali Talpur, Mahreen Zuberi, Saba Khan and finally Iqbal Geoffrey.
And for sheer entertainment value and tongue-in-cheek like no other: Iqbal Geoffrey‘s paseenay-daar Mona Lisa. I don’t quite know what to think of it. But because I like his weird drawings and postcard series I’ll let this one slip by!
See the complete gallery here: MEIN” – ‘The ARTIST AND THE SELFKoel Gallery – Feb 9-20, 2012. All images courtesy: Noorjehan Bilgrami @ Koel gallery
You might also like to read: Pakistani Contemporary Art – A Brief History of Now
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