KARACHI: This might sound like exaggerated praise. It is not. The ‘Karachi Inmates 2014’ exhibition which opened at the Alliance Francaise on Friday evening has some exhibits that can give a few very renowned artists of the country a run for their money.
Kudos to those who have been teaching students of Central Prison Fine Arts School to paint, including their teacher Sikandar Jogi, and those who have organised the show!
The most striking feature of the exhibition is the wide range of subjects and techniques that the viewer gets to see. This suggests that they’ve been taught to use their imagination as freely as they can, which is why they’re able to come up with some astonishing artworks.
Notice the variety first. Fazal Rahim paints the concept of ‘justice’ that’s not as straight forward an idea as many of us think. The scales of justice in his view are loaded with all kinds of diverse images.
Hasnain Raza draws a beautiful picture of a young girl with tears trickling down her face. The fact that he has kept the canvas black and white and not splashed it with colours heightens its effect.
Sikandar Jogi, on the other hand, uses red, black and white to create a poster-like painting of a violent scene in an artwork titled ‘Target Killer’. What he does different with it is that he splotches the canvas with the colour red and throws in objects (such as a broken pair of specs) in the corners to challenge the viewer to make up their own story.
Aziz Bugti chooses realism to express himself and does a very impressive job. There’s finesse in his work that’s unmistakable.
Hasnain Raza displays his versatility by conjuring a Middle-Eastern setting in a painting titled ‘Worship’. And Kashif’s landscapes infuse that light touch to the whole exhibition that, in a manner of speaking, gives it a sense of completeness.
The exhibition will continue till April 26.