US-based artist Ali Akbar has studied at California College of Arts and Crafts and South Eastern Oklahoma State University. On a visit to Dhaka, he admired the works of Mohammed Kibria, Monirul Islam, Abdul Baset and GS Kabir. Likewise he praised Gilbert and George from UK for their photography- based art. He also liked the works of David Hockney, Mark Rothko and Francis Bacon.
His ideas and images of what he sees, remembers and feels are there before us on the canvas or linen. Having travelled to India, Nepal and other countries, his work remains a mixture of oriental and western philosophy. He combines landscapes with segments of the human figure, such as the face and limbs. He paints glitches akin to those on the silver screen or on the small screen. The lines of the glitches represent the troubled world we inhabit, replete with natural and manmade disasters. The black, gray, green canvases represent mountains that one can investigate and discover.
Akbar plays with lines-- just as he dabbles in colours .The glitches on one occasion form a rose pattern. Red symbolises the evening, blue the water and the green is brought in just for his pleasure, while green is commonly desired around the world. The artist also wishes to make his work minimal.
The painter often faces loneliness and believes he is in a boat by himself. The faces around him are imaginary and seem to surround him-- for better or for worse. There are lines, colours, and suggestions of soft movement. Spontaneity is also aimed at.
His present exhibit at Bangladesh National Museum, which ends on July 5, displays, “Midnight dream boat”, a mixed media on canvas. The artist's “Midnight sky in Dhaka” is a combination of grey, off white, and black compositions with chrome yellow and white lines in a lazy, crazy way.
Mixed media “Burning Heart” resembles brilliant flowers in the forest. Of course a pulsating heart, beating in a quick rhythm, would resemble this image. One is not sure whether the artist titles his piece after he finishes his creation. The riot of colours could decorate any living room or office with ease.