30 May-05 June, 2015

Salman Farooqi showcases at ArtScene Gallery

Viewing the work of Salman Farooqi in exhibition is a great visual pleasure. The artist’s brilliant use of colour and penchant for Cubism in his paintings of sea and cityscapes, are a pleasure to behold. Farooqi’s latest series of acrylic on canvas paintings was mounted at the ArtScene Gallery, Karachi, and in the work a subtle play of colour created patterns of light diffused through darker layers of paint creating a third dimensional effect. One entered the gallery and was greeted by a stunning, 54x102 inch triptych with a dominant orange shade suggesting a city by the sea, with reflections of architecture and sky in the water. Other smaller cityscapes were painted in dominant shades of blue, while a beautiful triptych of the city at night was worked in soothing evening shades with a large full moon and myriad tiny windows of light. In many of the artists works the delicate patchwork of light and darker shades created patterns on the surfaces of the artworks; shapes determined by the viscosity and application of the media, and the speed of its impact upon the surface. In Farooqi’s art, the interactions of the varied shades of colours give subtle movement to the artist’s composition and a sensuous richness. For Karachi-ites the sea is an important factor of life, often artists include seascapes as a feature of their artistic imagery. In Farooqui’s work one discovers brightly coloured boats featured, painted in a strong, pleasing signature style. In harmonious shades of grays, palest blues interspersed with bright orange flags; one finds an evening scene at the harbour. A large vertical artwork displayed over a staircase in the gallery was the focus of attention for many of the visitors, painted with colours that cheered the eye. Several artists attended Farooqi’s show including Tariq Javed and Nahid Siddiqui who were enthralled by the work. One singular factor of his oeuvre is the lack of human presence in the artworks, no element is there to disturb the beauty of the scene.
Farooqi’s experience of art stretches back to the years of his childhood. His appreciative family recognised his love of drawing and encouraged him in his interest, and at an early age sketch books were filled with images of the world around him portrayed in coloured pencils, crayons and watercolours. It appears that fate took a hand in his future as at that time a friendly neighbour happened to be the famous studio artist Iqbal Mehdi, who dropping in to his house on occasions became aware of Farooqi’s potential. Although the boy was just 12 years old at that time, Iqbal Mehdi was impressed and invited him to spend time and learn about art in his studio. Thus Farooqi began to experience the activity of the working studio. At that time there was a group of gifted young artists working with Iqbal Mehdi and Farooqi was fascinated by the atmosphere. He would drop into the studio after school whenever possible enjoying the company of the artists. He continued to visit the studio, sometimes taking his own artwork along, until he had completed his scholastic education and qualified to join the Karachi School of Art.

In those days the Karachi School of Art had a strong reputation of landscape painting under the excellent tutorship of artist Mansur Rahi who indoctrinated the students into the popular genre, painting in the media of watercolour. It was from the KSA that the first Karachi art movement was nurtured with a series of watercolour landscapes painted outdoors.
Farooqi had a close understanding and appreciation of another outstanding artist of those times, his teacher Zahin Ahmed, who recognised his potential and encouraged him to sketch and paint Karachi’s environs. With Zahin, Farooqi closely examined the importance the elements played in creating images; with rays of the sun, clouds and rain. Farooqi began to address the world around him in his efforts to develop an informed observation.
On his graduation from the Karachi School of Art, he stood first and earned a distinction for his outstanding efforts. Farooqi continued to practice his art, often painting outdoors and gradually a change began to incur in his work; he began to experiment with simplification of form, an aesthetic adventure that continues to the present time.
Initially after graduation the artist spent four years as a creative designer before joining the faculty of the KSA, where he continued to teach for some time before deciding to focus totally on his art.
Farooqi contributed to numerous group exhibitions throughout the country and held his first solo exhibition in 2005. Presently he has eleven solo exhibitions to his credit, with each one attracting an appreciative audience of artists and art enthusiasts enjoying the optimistic aspects of his work. One gazes at the work and is immediately cheered, in Farooqi’s world all is peace and harmony. •

Most Popular on
A Shore Thing
Tides of fashion may shift, but seaside style remains....
Comeback stars, the darlings of the festival, standing....
Pretty in Pastels!
Pastels are hotter than ever for spring – and ....
For such an unabashedly upfront colour, red can ....
Not Just a Treat for Taste Buds!
As heavenly as they are to eat, chocolates have ....
Go Fishing
A simple fishtail braid can help you look chic and ....
Height hits plateau
Q: I am constantly thirsty. I drink about 2 and a 1/2 ....
Q: I wrote earlier about my obesity in detail. I got ......
‘I’m more confident & grown up’: Richa Chadda
Actress Richa Chadda, whose film Masaan was ....
Director’s Cut
When directors decide to turn the tables and face ....
Lee Ryan is bankrupt
British pop star Lee Ryan has declared himself .....
Billboard Music Awards
Music stars recently got together to honour each....
“So still angry on me for nothing?”....
The Garde-Chainpetre was sent out to get it. .....
Set in the era of Han Dynasty's reign in China, .....
The 'floating house' on River Thames
Is it a house? Is it a boat? Well commuters saw a....
Connect With:
Mag The Weekly