When it comes to art, Tariq Javed is an institution of his own. His complex sense of figures along with a profusion of decorative elements have made him very well sought out in the world of art. Over the years, his work has morphed from realism to abstract.
After 11 years, Tariq Javed finally opened his solo show at the Ejaz Gallery in Lahore on Friday. “His latest body of work has a profusion of colour with the abstract and decorative styles blended in a very harmonious manner,” says Zarah David, curator at Ejaz Art. “He creates quite a modern twist, incorporating his various styles in a very abstract but realistic manner with all the embellishments of our culture.”
In an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, the artist talked about his journey, the latest collection and where the features of his portraits come from. “It has taken me almost over a year to create this collection,” says Javed. “And this collective raises issues of violence against women in a male dominated society.”
His work primarily started off as modern non-figurative and then his style matured into more abstract figurative. The artist takes us on a transformative journey through his work. “Even though I was a firm practitioner of the modern art, I was inspired and drawn towards the women of Rajasthan and that culture stepped into my work.” After almost a decade of glorifying the area, Javed knew it was time to move on. Almost all artists take inspiration from their surroundings and Javed too was heavily moved by what was going on around him.
The abstraction of the female body juxtaposed with a bull creates a very strong image. Bull is the symbol of male dominance while the sun is the symbol of life, however a sun painted red symbolises discord and unhappiness. The darkness within the sun signifies the hardships women are facing in the society today. The aesthetics Javed works with are extremely strong and make a statement.
The warm colour palettes, along with the icy blues in the collection, glorify the violence to a certain extent. It is an art to make aesthetically displeasing and uncomfortable ideas look beautiful on canvas. While each idea is painful and deep, the impact of the work is soothing and calm. It is only when each section of his work is analysed separately that one can see the brutality featured.
“Some of the women I paint have very stark features and these are derived from the rural areas of our country,” said Javed. “However, the blank faces show universality of the issues I am talking about and therefore can be related to by almost anyone.”
The artist has a multi-faceted range of talents and even though ‘painter’ is the first job description that comes to mind, the artist has been experimenting with printmaking, sculpture and ceramics during his incubation period. “He is one of the few ceramists in Karachi who established a centre to teach the art of ceramics,” said David.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2012.
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