KARACHI, June 8: Imaginativeness in art is often defined as the ability to come up with something ‘new’ by employing tried and tested techniques or by playing around with familiar themes. Well, being imaginative does not always mean to reinvent the wheel in a creative manner. It also implies the knack for making others look at ‘life’ afresh. Omar Farid is one artist who, instead of himself, compels the viewer to think out of the box, to push the envelope as an art buff. This can be witnessed at an exhibition of his latest body of work titled ‘Flying Solo’ that commenced at the Art Chowk Gallery on Saturday.

‘Postscript: Vicki Baum’ (ink and acrylic on paper board) sets up the mood of the show. The name of a writer in the title of the artwork suggests that the artist likes storytellers and the skill involved in storytelling. The skill: because this is what he’s trying to achieve through his work. The lines that he draws and the colours that he uses do not merely complete an image, they form a narrative. The narrative eclipses the multiple techniques that seem to have gone into creating that particular artwork.‘Dialogue’ (ink and acrylic on paper board) is an intriguing piece of imaginativeness. The two characters communicate with each other but their forms assume the role of language, that is, their forms let the viewer know about their personalities, and yet the viewer might find it hard to interpret the painting.

‘Troika’ (acrylic on paper board) is a superlative work of art. Again the form is important. The three images move from the nonliving objects status to the living being category rather seamlessly. There are socio-cultural connotations on play here as well. However, it’s the art of Omar Farid which puts in the shade the debate on content. The visual appeal of the artwork is immensely absorbing.

‘Who’s Afraid of White?’ (acrylic on paper board) has a Frank Stellasque touch to it. The squares within squares (and a lot in between) with the white colour confining it all in one space is abstraction at its brain-picking best. And ‘Fruition’ (acrylic on paper board) highlights the point that the artist is also aware of how to create potent symbols keeping the skill factor prominent and pronounced. Quality stuff!

The exhibition will run until June 19.