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Omar Farid’s outlook on life: Surreal and otherwise

13 June, 2013

http://tribune.com.pk/story/560760/omar-farids-outlook-on-life-surreal-and-otherwise/

Omar Farid’s outlook on life: Surreal and otherwise

Published: June 9, 2013

The painting, Grand Hotel, shows the artist, Omar Farid’s, attempt at creating an optical illusion. PHOTO COURTESY ART CHOWK GALLERY

KARACHI: 

Omar Farid’s mind is an intricate web of ideas and thoughts that take a physical form on the canvas.

His latest works, Flying Solo, being exhibited at the Art Chowk Gallery are very much based on his impulse which sometimes tends to leave the audience guessing about the creator’s thought process. The artist is certainly a master at this craft which he proves in his recent works.

“The intricate patterns and the detail in Farid’s work is what catches the eye. He works hard to justify the worth of every piece,” observed the gallery’s curator, Shakira Masood.

Farid’s own interpretation of his work is simple – “It is a product of my instinct. I derive my inspiration from my thought process. What I think, I paint on the canvas,” he explained toThe Express Tribune. The artist adds that, for him, a good painting is one that leaves the audience wondering even after they have moved away from it.

Looking at the canvases, one can see traces of optical illusions in the works. The painting, titled ‘Grand Hotel’, for example, initially gives the impression that a couple is walking into the entrance of a hotel building. But if you look  closer, you can see that the couple has only two legs between them thereby leaving the audience wondering whether it is actually one person shown in the painting or two. “When I was younger, I never thought I’d grow up to be an artist. The opportunity to play with optical illusions is what actually lured me to fine arts,” he told The Express Tribune.

Farid even takes a swab at capturing the surreal in his work in the painting, Couple, which shows two figures bearing a distinct resemblance to our idea of other-worldly creatures. The backdrop of the painting shows planet-like structures giving the impression that the figures are in outer space. The artist chuckles as he explains this painting saying that, “The first couple of outer space wish to visit our planet but are reluctant because of security concerns.”

Other works in the series speak of the artist’s point of view about different experiences in his lifetime and how he feels about them. The canvas, Dialogue, shows two people speaking to each other while neither is remotely interested in what the other is saying.

Another painting, Black Sun, shows abstract colourful objects in the bottom half, giving it a very cheerful look. Upon closer inspection, however, one can see people with sad facial expressions in the sky giving the overall painting a morose look.

Masood is full of praise for the talented artist. “His (Farid) work may be unconventional by today’s standards but it is so because he is in a league of his own. His style is very much adapted from the ‘60s era – when art was for art’s sake and not for social pleasure. Yes, a majority of the audience will not be able to comprehend the context due to the alternate time-frame, but then it is his inspiration.”

Farid, on the other hand, claims that painting has become the obsession of his life. “I am not just passionate about painting. It is my life. It is as important to me as breathing is. It is the best or perhaps the only way I know how to communicate with other people.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 9th, 2013.