What is the purpose of art? To create beauty, strike a balance between contrasting shades of color, bring out the deepest feelings on canvas, or something else? The beauty of art is that it cannot be clearly defined. No definition can be considered complete or comprehensive. Art is a continuous and spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings transmitted to canvas.
The recent group exhibition ‘Through the Streets’ at Oyster Art Gallery can certainly be defined as spectacular and spellbinding. The exhibition presented to the eye an unfathomable sense of beauty. It brought together some of the best cityscape artists alive. Showcasing the works of 34 artists from across Pakistan, the show was a thorough journey of cityscape art of the country. World renowned water color and cityscape artist, Dr. Ejaz Anwar, inaugurated the exhibition.
As you leisurely stroll around the gallery, you encounter all kinds of oil on canvas, ink on paper, water color, and acrylic paintings displaying the life, culture, heritage and architecture from a common street perspective. Artists like Nazir Ahmed, Zulfiqar Zulfi, A Q Arif, Zafar Iqbal Khan, Asrar Farooqi, Ghulam Hussain, Ghazanfar Iqbal, Saeed Ahmad, Ahmad Habib, Zahid Ashraf, Faruq Siyal and Tahir Naqvi were the highlights of the show.
Tahir Naqvi’s oil on paper depicted the historical beauty of Lahore. Wazir Khan Mosque and the interior Lahore were masterly painted by him to create an aura of nostalgia. The city life of Lahore has been painted by a large number of painters including Dr. Ejaz Anwar. But Tahir has been successful in standing out from the rest with his distinctive style.
Tahir Naqvi is one of those rare artists who could create wonders in every genera of painting, be it calligraphy, still life, landscape, cityscape or even abstract for that matter. He seems to enjoy an innate ability to juxtapose colors in such a way that they form one visual identity. His works are always pleasing to look at. For him the quest for the meaning of life goes through the path of beauty and harmony. Talking to The5Ws he said that ‘life is all about harmony and the universal balance is responsible for everything that exists. The job of an artist is to add his feelings and emotions to this balance without disturbing it.’
Having won the Sadequain Award at the early stage of his career, his skill as an artist was established in art circles long ago. Tahir hails from a literary background. His father Hamid Ali Naqvi was a poet and columnist, his grandfather Afzal Hapori was one of the top classical poets of his time.
Art is a fundamental element of a civilization. If we want to be part of the civilized world we need to support art and artists of this land. Oyster Art Gallery deserves the credit for successfully organizing the show. Pakistan has no dearth of talented artists. All they need is a platform to show what genius they possess.