Flowers of blood in Imran Qureshi's Rome exhibition

By AFP
Published: September 24, 2013

Artist Iman Qureshi poses next to his workon September 23, 2013 during the opening of his exhibition at the Macro Museum in Rome. PHOTO: AFP

ROME: Artist Imran Qureshi brought his award-winning exhibition on beauty and violence to Rome Monday, unveiling the blood-themed creations which saw him appointed Deutsche Bank’s 2013 “Artist of the Year.”

The 41-year-old, who was given the honour of creating an installation on the rooftop of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art earlier this year, has brought 35 works to Rome’s Macro museum for an exhibition which runs until November 17.

A rising star of South Asia’s “neo-miniaturist” group of artists, Qureshi pays homage to the ancient Islamic art form of miniatures in the collection while simultaneously exploring elements of contemporary abstract painting.

Many of the works contrast life and brutal death, with splatterings of red acrylic paint to suggest blood and intricate foliage designs representing life.

In one, what appears to be the blood splatter from a gun shot wound drips down a white background to pool on the floor, while in another two giant, sun-like yellow spheres are tinged with a violent red.

Another sphere reminiscent of a fruit sports flowers of blood.

The artist, who teaches miniatures at Lahore’s National College of Arts (NCA), has said the colour tone in his work is inspired by brutal bombings in Pakistan – in particular, one strike close to his family home which destroyed a market three years ago.

The instant transformation of place full of life to bloody landscape had a deep effect on his work, he said.

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