Sublime hopelessness: Artist gives a face to world suffering

Showcases more than 20 paintings exhibiting state of being miserable 

Mariam Shafqat November 07, 2016
Showcases more than 20 paintings exhibiting state of being miserable. PHOTOS: EXPRESS

LAHORE: Art has always been used to exhibit the never-ending river of frustrations that is life.  Misery, angst and world suffering, all came together when artist Suleman Mengal showcased more than 20 paintings at a solo exhibition at the Color Art Gallrey.

With his series of portraits, titled ‘In This World’ is inspired by being in a state of misery and angst.

“Through my art, I have tried to depict the indescribable stories of people who are suffering all around the world. The deformed portraits and figures describe suffering and violence faced by the innocent people in the world,” Mengal said.

The artist said his work reflects the universal experiences of suffering and alienation since 'suffering and violence' are the words the whole world is aware of and it affects every person directly or indirectly.

“The medium used to express these emotions is charcoal. Dark and blur features of anonymous faces are rendered against metaphorical bird and animal forms,” he said.

According to Mengal, the animals depicted in his paintings represent the public that is suffering silently.

Describing his work, Mengal said one can see the abstract forms of mask-like faces merge into the background, while the features of portraits are melting, deforming and decomposing. “My work appears very dark but so is the world we live in,” he said.

Another medium he used to achieve expression was fibre glass. Ghulam Muhammad, the curator of the exhibition, said while looking at Mengal’s work, one gets the feeling that he is trying to portray the dilemma and pain of things left abrupt.

“His work also gives an impression of a person lost in his own world,” he said.

The exhibition will continue till 19th of November.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2016.


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