While the world moves into exploring virtual spaces and advertising and exhibiting online, Pakistan is still relatively far behind in using the virtual world to its full potential.
As the art scene grows tenfold across the country, our schools and colleges have started urging their students to push their creative boundaries and actually put their thoughts into images. While gallery owners try to collect and exhibit as much as possible, their physical space is nowhere close to the virtual space available online. True, it is more satisfying to see art in person but with the advancement of technology and the emergence of websites such as the Google Art Project, it is now possible to enjoy high resolution images while sitting in the comfort of your own home.
A new project that has recently cropped up in the art world which seems to have interesting potential even though it is in its early stages of development, is Sehr Murtaza Latif’s latest venture, The Paint Bucket. It is a new online art store that allows its clients to not only view art but also buy it. Most gallery owners also have online stores so that their international clients have easy access to their collections and can readily order pieces that might interest them.
It is rare to find a young investor selling her own collection at the very beginning of her collecting career. Sehr Murtaza Latif is an eventual investor rather than a collector since she is willing to sell her collection. “I have too many paintings and not enough walls,” says Latif, “hence this idea of having an online art store came about.”
Latif fell in love with art at the age of 15, in Rome, when she laid eyes on “The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli. “I had never seen anything like it and I was in awe of its beauty. Then my cousin ended up in the National College of Arts (NCA) and I would sit and look at her paint and from there on my love for art began.” Latif continues, “I have been collecting art ever since I got married and now I have almost 35 pieces in my collection. For now, I have put up my own collection on The Paint Bucket and I would like to add more new and young artists to my online store because I feel that drawing art is overdone in Pakistan and there is no need to dabble into a field that already has been infiltrated.”
Additionally, Latif visits thesis shows at NCA, Beaconhouse National University (BNU) and other art schools and picks up pieces that appeal to her and then uses The Paint Bucket as a platform to promote new talent. “My main target is India. I feel that our art can do so well there and the creativity our artists exude here is phenomenal; therefore, I will start marketing it to the right audience in India so they can see that there is more to our art than just drawing value,” said Latif.
Realizing that there is hardly any opportunity for young Pakistani artists to promote themselves on a virtual platform that is accessible to local as well as international audiences, Latif feels that her project can help by bridging this gap in some way. Here’s hoping she’s right!
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2012.