Response to the Social Issues
I am expressing the mental reaction to whatever is hidden inside
the body,” if this paradoxical remark by the artist Mustafa Kamal
is what drives him to draw what he draws then one must inspect the
surface and content of his painting to find out whether he is successful
in doing so. He also says that he strives to respond to the social
enviroment that he is a part of, which means Kamal is willing to
explore the whole spectrum, from the psichic to the social.
work explores both the aspects of painting-- the surface and the
content. His surface is often textured in order to put the faces
and the parts of figures that are his content against a resonating
backdrop. But the artist seems to be in two minds about whether
to give primacy to his contents or his surface. If the body parts
are not used as components of the design, which is the formal arrangement,
if they are their to awake our consciousness about other people
or society or whatever that lies byond the canvas then he must make
was no eye witness-I, Mixed Media, 2002.
the two tendencies do not meld well in most of his work. In works
like “Three gentlemen are walking with their thoughts” his tendency
to apply textures subsides. It is in this sort of work that the
artist is addressing the social conundrum-- the class system and
its psychological implications. He tries to address the social chaos
in the works titled “There was no eye witness-1” and “2”.
three floating pictures that are set on plexiglass attached to bars
that crane from the side of the canvas explore a new dimension.
In these the artist presents girls being overpowered. But, he is
not overtly concerned with the violent acts or the perpetrators
for that matter. The subtlety with which the subject of male oppression
is presented lends a mysterious aura to his art.
artist provides an opportunity for the viewers to look for the clues
to what is being done to the girls whose face or hand is shown in
stark black and white. The vulnerability of women is encoded in
photographs are sombre but the paintings over which they are propped
up are forceful, this results in a tug between the two kinds of
temperaments, one of expressionist origin the other of postmoder-nism.
In Kamal's endeavor the tug remains unresolved.
Gentlemen are Walking with thier thoughts, Mixed Media, 2003.
his pencil drawings that make up almost half of his displayed works,
the artist is free of any such dilemma, as the works are solely
based on pencil drawing. In this series his content and form becomes
Kamal is a young artist who is experimenting with both the concept
and the media.
installation that uses boxes holstered with painted canvas that
is placed in the middle of the gallery, is a result of effort to
present his images in a different style. Here too the artist is
caught in the conflict between what should be expressed and how.
Other then this deficiency that stems from the conflict that render
the artwork too crafty, the artist is all set to start off on a
new footing. Integration of the artistic world with the social factors
is the thing of the new millenium, with this concept Mustafa Kamal
is fully at home.