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Days of Our Lives

Author: Niilofur Farrukh      Publications: Newsline (p-88)      Dated: May 1997

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Moin Faruqis newest paintings, on display at Chawkandi Art, are portraits of our lives. The works are like pages from the diary of an urban citizen, commenting on social change. The physical environment and its inhabitants become a metaphor for the divided soul.

Powerless, despite newfound money-power, Karachis citizens discover that industrial progress has poisoned the citys coastal waters; over-urbanisation has choked the streets and the pathetic symbols of economic disparity, orphans and beggars, hold them up at every street corner. Faruqi aptly uses Cubism, with its strong resonance of post-war pessimism and nihilism in Europe, to capture the existentialist ethos of our times.

Faruqis iconography is based on the fragmented image, disjointed patterns and multifaceted patterns and multifaceted human faces. Often freed from gravity, they float in a state of indecision. Harsh features and screaming colours, deliberately applied without finesse, amplify the impression of consumer avarice.

Desire recurs in Faruqis canvas; men and women embrace under newly-defined rules where permanence is definitely not the name of the game. Faruqis women are neither coy nor pretty, but have strong, intelligent faces. Clad in contemporary attire they are not frozen in any preconceived era. In Faruqis canvas, the modern woman has found her mate.

The artist, an educationist and a poet, never shies away from handling contemporary themes with directness and empathy. At the height of Karachis lawlessness, he painted a tribute to a city of survivors. This new collection reflects the desperation felt by people who find themselves caught helplessly in the winds of urban change.