While delivering lecture on art at Satrang Gallery on Wednesday, artist and curator Quddus Mirza was philosophical and lively. As he stated to an excited audience “people change but their voice remains the same”, he was truly speaking on something that has been his voice for years.
Starting off with a poetic dialogue on art and his take on life experiences, Mirza said, “I realised love and death are very important in our lives. Art is not a matter of a single glance. So I deliberately created work which invites the viewer to look for a longer period and concentrate.”
He went on to emphasise the fact that art does not necessarily have to be tangible. We are not looking at the work for its visual quality but for its present worth, he added, discussing the relevance of art.
“When somebody asks me the difference between commercial art and non-commercial art, I say it is the difference between a married woman and a prostitute. Both offer the same service, but a prostitute knows very well that she’s performing for money but a wife performs it for love,” said the provocative critic.
“The market has generated many prostitutes and many housewives,” said a high-spirited Mirza which brought on chuckles from the audience comprising Swedish envoy.Lars-Hjalmar Wide, artists and students.
Mirza also imparted advice for collectors and young artists on the current state of the art market gathered at Satrang Gallery.
Mirza is a foremost art critic and is an associate professor at the National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore. A graduate from NCA and Royal College of Art, London, he has exhibited his work in numerous international and national exhibitions. He is the co-author of the book “50 Years of Visual Arts in Pakistan” and has written numerous essays on Pakistani art in international publications.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2012.
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