<%-- Page Title--%> Art <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 118 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

August 15, 2003

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Neither Devi, nor Women

Mustafa Zaman

In between the mythic and the real, resides the world of Khaled Mahmud. His art teems with female figures that went through a kind mutation that had rendered them almost animal-like pseudo-humans. Each artwork contains a women. The cannily titled show, Maya, brings into view a relay of female forms that are as a rule juxtaposed against a colour-laden and texture-rich backdrop.

Often these figures crouch, kneel, ride a beast or stand or half sits while their hands and legs seem to flail in wired gesticulation. But the artist seem to have the full reign over them, he manipulates the female form in deliberate manner. His women are mannered, their shape and gestures are repeated, though in the method of a clever mannerist.

Khaled, in his work, seems to loose his footing where he seems too methodical. When he is given to his intuition, he strikes gold.

The articulate postures of the women are not the sole element in his work.

Bon Devi/ Etching Aquatint

The textural configuration often gains the upper hand and veils his anthropomorphic forms, which are his women. It adds beauty to his art. But, it also undermines the strength of his figuration.

His lean, scraggy and almost blasphemous figures are given salience in few works. In these works the artist seem to have laid claim to his women as an entity, whose presence is enough to strike a mystic cord in the mind of the beholder. Colour harmony and textural pattern, which tie him up with the surface painters of the old school, too often wins over. It is in these occasions that the art of Khaled seem to hark back to the past. If this chord of connection is severed, and the bold lines that we see in his version of tong-revealing, many handed Durga or the beast-riding naked female fakir, are given a chance to stand out from their backdrop, only then the possibility of his art widens. In the work of the beast-riding woman, he accomplishes this with flying colours.

Khaled has proposed two sets of artworks, one is his etching series and the other is his paintings on smallish square plastic with a squire hole in the middle. In his paintings he is more prone to formal arrangement, in printmaking he relies on the form. In his etching, multiple lines are used to build the female form. It is in this linear process, through which this young artist have proved to have created a fresh, new domain of images.

Khaled's first solo titled Maya was inaugurated on August 2 and lasted till August 12.


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