THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: How many of us can find beauty in an old bamboo basket, rusting iron nails or keys? Artist Mohamad Ali Adam’s strong obsession with identifying life in degenerating objects have turned into subjects on canvas in numerous shades of acrylic.
The painting exhibition ‘Samarpanam’ has on display 25 of his paintings that reflect the artist’s musings in diverse things. “There is a surrealistic feeling in observing those dilapidated things and I have portrayed it on canvas. Calling such objects lifeless is meaningless.” His artistic interpretation appears true once we take a close look at the black and white painting where he has portrayed an intricately woven bamboo basket. Though the artist says that he has portrayed a decaying basket, its beauty lies in how he has carefully absorbed the complex structure through his artistic prowess.
The artist says that he always had an affinity towards old things in his life too. “Rather than a new model car, I prefer to have an old one which has lost all its glam and glitter. I even prefer wearing an old shirt than a new one,” he says.
Many of the works on display appear to be a conglomeration of dots. But a deep analysis of these paintings can take the viewer to a different plane of appreciation. “A connoisseur saw lord Ganesha in that painting,” said Mohamad pointing towards a canvas rich in yellow dots. He continued, “art must be viewed with the mind of a child. Only then, one can delve deeper into the hidden meanings associated with it.”
In one of his paintings, we see three leaves falling from a tree and on the leaves are some intertwined black threads, reminiscent of the curly hairs of a village belle. “During my childhood days, there was an elder girl in my neighbourhood who had curly hairs. Once, I noticed her hair falling on to the ground. While painting, suddenly the image of those locks falling from her mane came into my mind,” he explains. A viewer may not capture the complexity associated with it on a quick glance.
An elaborate exploration of artistic freedom can be found in some of his works. He has a flock of black coloured birds flying against a violet sky. Asked why he has attributed such a strange shade to sky, he would say, “this is my sky. It is my choice to paint it green or yellow. Remember Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘wheat field with crows’ and how he pained the sky?,” he asks.
Hailing from Thrissur, he is an alumnus of Kerala Kalapeedom, Kochi. He has dedicated the exhibition to litterateur M Govindan, his mentor at the Kalapeedom. He is also the disciple of the late K C S Paniker. The exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademy art gallery at Vyloppilli Samskriti Bhavan will conclude on Tuesday. Timing from 10 am to 6.30 pm.