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THAR - AGONY OF EARTH.wmv

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Published on Jan 21, 2010

DAWN - Gallery December 15, 2007. Seeking reality By Salwat Ali
Stark revealing imagery swathed in a riot of colour enacts the agony and ecstasy of Tharri existence in Syed Ali Wasifs desert odyssey on show at Citi Art Gallery.
Painting the grim realities of Thar is by now a clich├ęd theme albeit a necessary one, perhaps as the regions fate still languishes on the back burner. This exhibition also gains certitude on account of the artists own deep empathy for the oppressed and the tormented. A practicing psychiatrist, Wasif has dedicated his art to the portrayal of the mentally disturbed, the down trodden, humiliated and neglected segment of society. His numerous exhibitions from as far back as 1990 till recent times, like the Diary of a psychiatrist, Ashes from Shantinager, Organised violence, Faces of death, Stress, Anatomy of torture etc. are stirring testimonials of his compassion for and deep involvement with forgotten humanity.Almost a visual prognosis of his doctoral analysis, his art has centralised mainly on the traumatised psyche of his subjects. An austere, sparse palette of hard-hitting hues and distorted, haunting imagery with recourse to psychedelic exaggeration of body limbs, acute angular perspective, undulating vortex like contouring, symbolic use of skulls, prison cells, and vandalised locales enabled him to create visions of human despair and horror now so synonymous with his work.A deliberate shift from the death row gloom of damnation peculiar to his earlier work the new paintings have the pulse and throb of the life of simple folks even though they too are subjects of anguish and distress. Whilst the work is figurative it is also abstracted, and it is this abstraction that generates discomfort. The contorted faces and gyrating lines generate energy that opposes the calmness of a horizontal line we tend to associate with a sense of order and harmony.

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