Living in the rapidly changing city of Lahore, my surroundings hold a strong influence on my work. My paintings show the elite culture of our society where status is determined from ‘labels’. With the increasing social gap, the elite society is progressively being cut off from reality. The ostentatious bubble of these self-proclaimed kings from the nouveau riche is growing grander.
For a long time I wanted to work on social satire, but I did not know how to put my ideas on canvas. I was afraid of making the work too illustrative and direct. As a student at the National College of Arts in Lahore, I was influenced by the impressionist works I came across. The characteristic style of these works helped me to think progressively in the context of my paintings.
Using satirical themes, I make open ended, imaginary narratives. A lot of the narrative influences come from studying works of Paula Rego. What interests me in her work is the ambiguity, and underlining messages that do not make her work illustrative.
I am interested in the various methods of application, as a means to convey my thoughts.
The to and fro process of adding and removing, builds up thickness of paint and texture. Some parts are diligently worked on and others are left unfinished to show the process. I frequently use pure colour and mix colours by using glazes. R.M. Naeem my teacher and artist influenced me a lot on my techniques.
Picking up references from textiles, Mughal miniatures and also Lucian Freud’s paintings, multiple viewpoints are used to create movement and confusion in my imagery. The paintings are collage like, flatly painted as of the Naïve Artists to create rhythm and vibrancy.
Boticelli’s use of line inspires me; I like to create contrasts by using thickness and thinness of line. My contrasting colour schemes are also picked up from various Renaissance artists.
My aim is to be an open minded artist to help my own work grow. By absorbing and accepting new ideas and perspectives, I hope my work will not stagnate.