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ART FACTS: Relations, body and soul

Anwar Saeed creates paintings to explore the norms of society, people's social responsibility and the role of relationships in our life. His recent work at Chawkandi Art Gallery, Karachi reveals people's confusion of identity as body and soul are two parts of state of existence if one is missing the other goes in the state of non-existence.

For more than two decades Anwar Saeed has been associated with National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore, as an associate professor. He is a faculty member at NCA since 1986. He has done postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Arts, London and studied the art of printmaking there after graduating from the NCA. He is a well-known artist at home and abroad with many exhibitions to his credit, recently he is exhibiting his work in Karachi for the delight of art lovers.

His current paintings portray tentative nature of humans who show discontent behaviour regarding relations. He symbolically uses men figures to tell about human behaviour. His paintings show men in various postures and in different emotional states.

He shows connection between two or more people thus trying to find out reasons which create relations between people. He thinks that human relations are complex they change according to time or time to time depending upon the people in relationship.

In some paintings men figures depicts unhappy feelings or dissatisfied with a situation. A painting title "Habits of Being" shows a man is pressing a gun into a companion's chest while a third person at a distance looks on unconcerned. This painting is a symbolic depiction of the pain one person brings to another person and the rest of the people do not interfere in fear of getting that pain in their life. The indifferent behaviour has become a norm of our society thus promoting evil habits that goes uncheck by the society and in the long run become norm of our society.

Using his signature bluecolour in another painting he shows a man changing clothes symbolically speaking of our emotions and feelings that we hide in the outer sparkle of our dresses and thus mislead others in a relationship which becomes burden for us.

He interpret various topics artistically thus narrating his own experiences in acrylic and charcoal on paper and plywood. The diverse moods and situations in his paintings show his keen observation of the surrounding. He gets emotionally affected by the world around and transfers his experiences in paintings.

He skilfully handles the different mediums while expressing his views. His conceptual work captures universal themes as he illustrates words in the form of male figures. As we have a male dominating society Anwar Saeed uses only male figures in his paintings.

The paintings like "Melancholy and Elsewhere" and "Dreams Involving Water" show the loneliness and depression and discontent phase of life whereas "The Wall in our Heads", "Temporary Situations", and "Speed of Light is the Speed of Darkness" shows the unpredictable emotional state of people in an isolated society. The figures are seen physically close but they are not emotionally present with each other so it is a temporary situation. And we more often face this situation or see others facing such situation. nadeemzuberi71@gmail.com

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