"I do not wish to convey sadness through art and strive to depict beauty, energy and vitality that is not readily visible in everyday scenes,"
  • 02 May - 08 May, 2020
  • Rubab Fatima
  • Art

With the lockdown situation across the country amid the pandemic, the silver linings for art lovers is the online general display catalogue series by the ArtKaam gallery. To serve the said purpose, artist Salman Farooqi is aboard with his recent vibrant painting collection. According to him, art needs to be of an appealing nature at various levels. He is fond of paintings that have a profusion of colour, an abundance of energy and a whole lot of optimism.

Farooqi has been associated with the field of arts and painting for a very long time now. He developed his interest in arts and craft at a very young age of 15. It was then, when he started painting under the supervision of Sir Iqbal Mehdi. A few years after he graduated from the Karachi School of Arts in 1997, he decided to focus mainly on painting and it has been his career choice ever since. I got in touch with the artist to know more about his artistic endeavours. I asked him if he trained or had an artistic flair naturally, to which he said that he was firstly trained by the late Iqbal Mehdi who is renowned for his pen drawings, and later he went on to complete his four year diploma in fine arts. His artworks, to a large degree, represent the school of cubism. He uses its basic tenets to present the true essence and meaning of the scenes that he paints.

An artist is considered to be the one, who can connect and form a relationship with his artistry. It shows their utter involvement and immense importance of the craft in their life. Farooqi, in this regard bonds strongly with the art form by painting the cityscapes, which are aimed to display the very essence of Karachi. "The cramped houses, wiring, fisheries and bright colours, all come from the place I was born and raised in," he said. He describes his collection as very raw and authentic, “it’s the kind of work that comes purely from the mind of the artist without any external pressures," he adds. Why does he choose to work with this theme? "The unconventional beauty of Karachi, I'd say. I would really like people to view this extremely fascinating city in the same colours that I do."

Not being an artist myself, but still my favourite question to ask from artists is why choose the medium and procedures they use. This question was asked yet again, to which he replied, "All paintings are acrylics on canvas, it is the medium I’ve always loved to work with, and the style is what we call 'cubistic', which really brings out the geometry of the scene painted." He has exhibited his collections numerous times in and out of Pakistan, but this is his first online display exhibition, some credit is owed to COVID-19.

I believe if anyone is a creator in any form, it is unlikely to be satisfied with every creation of yours, there is always room for improvement. "There’s always something to add to the artwork. I usually have to stop myself to avoid overburdening with work, however, I believe that art is never truly completed, and you can always add to it, as much as you want," the solo exhibitionist said. His answer was exactly what i had thought (I guess, I even have a little spark of creativity in me, or well, as a new writer, I at least, like to have a belief in this). Enjoying and observing his collection, one thing that instantly catches one's eye is the frequent use of bright colours. The admirers would definitely like these paintings, which are bursting with vibrancy, showcasing the city with a different perspective.

On wanting to know the response of the viewers of the exhibition, as people most do not have that much knowledge to decipher art, he tells me that there is incredible beauty that masses are missing out on, art brings colours to life, and we continue painting and exhibiting with the hope that people see that, and thankfully, the attitudes are changing now.