April 21, 2012Print : Karachi
All of us, humans, are born with idealism and aesthicity. Of course it is another matter that in some people it just wears out after lying dormant and failing to find an outlet while in others it takes more mundane shapes on account of the humdrum of life or lack of external stimuli.
One such person is Meezanur Rehman, an uninitiated young man from Fenny in what is now Bangladesh. Meezan has, however, made Pakistan his home. He has being doing a number of odd jobs to earn a living and some of these really were not worth writing home about. That speaks volumes for his pragmatism all the more and shows that he is a firm believer in the dignity of labour. He has been working for a number of NGOs in town. As such having to go about seeing the state of society with the lot of the deprived and disempowered ones, his social conscience has been whetted and through his art, he highlights the privations of the less fortunate.
Of course he’s one of the fortunate ones to have got a chance to give vent to his creativity, as is evident from his solo exhibition which opened at the local Alliance Francais on Friday and runs up until the 25th instant.
All the 38 paintings by him on exhibition could be classified as semi-abstract, figurative expressionism. Through powerful, flamboyant (read clashing) colours, Meezan spins a vital story of the disempowered lot of society. Being semi-abstract expressionism, one needs a superlatively fertile imagination to determine the theme of his works. Bold strokes and random lines are supposed to convey a theme which may be profound. However, a fertile imagination is a must to follow the narrative.
One of his paintings is a real symphony of colours with the human figure given a more ghostly form with heads placed horizontally over the necks rather than vertically. The work, titled, Classical Dance, is supposed to represent the agility of the human form required to be a classical dancer even if that means having to alter the anatomy.
Meezan indeed is a lyrical colourist. Another painting of his, titled, My City, Karachi, comprises two racing humanoid figures in flaming red and flaming orange, supposed to depict the cut-throat pace of life with all its accompanying violence.
Another work, titled, “Love on the footpath”, is an intertwining of two humanoid figures in semi-abstract form but the lower pats of the body (below the belt) are not at all abstract. They are pretty explicit.
Talking to The News, Meezan said that since childhood he had been imbued with an urge to convey his ideas and messages to society and was always in two minds as to the medium. As such, he says, he learnt dance and music but ultimately decided that it was through painting that he could communicate his ideas and ideals to society.