• Thursday, August 21, 2014

Emotions on canvas

Expatriate artist Anowar Hossain's creative journey

Zahangir Alom
The artist at work
The artist at work

Anowar Hossain comes from a family of artists, scholars and aficionados of art and culture. Early on, his parents discovered that he had an inborn gift for art and encouraged him to explore his talent.
Born in Bangladesh, Anowar was strongly influenced by the towering Bengali creative personalities of great bard Tagore, legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray and celebrated musician Pandit Ravi Shankar, among many others.
The young artist came to the USA in the 1980s and became involved with the flourishing New York art community through his art study and training at The School of Visual Arts and The Art Students League of New York. His works have been shown in many galleries and exhibitions both nationally and internationally that have won him many awards as well. Anowar's popularity as an abstract expressionist on the contemporary American art scene is on the rise. His artworks find place in many private collections around the world, including the United States, England, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Germany.
Anowar's artworks are affluent and luminous in their multifaceted bold strokes, geometric shapes and colourful vibrancy and they represent a sensitive approach to his personal feelings on the visual form. In his abstract paintings as well as portraits and drawings, Anowar brings the work alive with idiosyncratic vision, exuberant brushwork and a highly creative palette. The artist's masterful colour uses, sharp lines, rhythmic strokes and contours recount the tales of his personal feelings, acquired experiences and individual beliefs. Thus he has created an art language of his own.

An artwork from his series on Michael Jackson.
An artwork from his series on Michael Jackson.

“I believe that a true artist does not belong to a certain race, religion or ethnicity. Creative persons are born, and can never be made. They are, I think, gifted and that gift should be utilised for the betterment of mankind,” says the artist.
“For me, colour expression is very personal and private. I like using bright and strong colours. When I put them side by side relating to each other on the canvas, it gives me a great feeling. Literally, a great painting has a great feeling!” the artist adds over phone from USA.
Anowar has been an incessant explorer of art since an early age and has met diverse individuals. Along the way, he has gathered knowledge and wisdom that have significantly influenced his canvases. The philosophy of Anowar Hossain is very interesting. He believes that human life is fully intertwined with nature and the universe. “Everything we do in our life has an outcome and we have to remember that truth,” asserts the artist.
An ardent fan of Picasso's art, Anowar cites a quote from the master that rightly describes the artistic route he took next: “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” The artist prefers oil painting to other mediums as having a mutable quality.
 Anowar has taken part in a number of solo and group art exhibitions and received many awards and accolades. Since 2005, Anowar has held a big solo show of his paintings every year at the Long Island City Art Center (LICAC) where he has a studio. The focal point of each show describes the diversity of his sensibilities.  For example, in 2008 the artist displayed paintings of Mexican painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
In 2010 his show dealt with the 2005 disaster of Hurricane Katrina that caused death and sufferings for many people. What surprised and motivated the artist to do the series was that it took the United States' government five days to come to the aid of the victims.
Displaying over 55 paintings on legendary pop singer Michael Jackson along with several monochromic abstracts works, one of his solo exhibitions was held at LICAC in 2009. The artist's latest solo art exhibition titled “A Fresh Look”, displaying his early works; mostly portraiture was held at Gallery77, Jackson Heights, New York in 2012. Anowar's “War on Oil” series signifies his strong stance against war. Recently, the artist is doing portrait works of Paris-based famous mime maestro Partha Pratim Majumder.
The artist resides in the Long Island City Art Center (New York), a hub of professional artists. A Bangladeshi-born Nebraska State College Professor Dr. Shafiqur Rahman has written a book titled “Anowar Hossain: From Bangladeshi Painter to American Artist”, featuring life and works of the artist. The book was published from USA in 2013. 

Published: 12:00 am Monday, July 07, 2014

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