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    Volume 9 Issue 12| March 19, 2010|

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Juxtaposing Style and Subject

Fayza Haq

Top: Innocence with the hungry tide. Bottom: Healing machine and the clown.

The Star: What should be the objective of a serious work of art -- to please patrons/ gallery critiques / gallery critiques/ making a name and fame for oneself? Or go on practicing and endeavouring to present one's vision?

Javed Jalil (JJ): The first objective should be to himself, his need, that he feels that he should create his work together with his thought, his mind, as he sees things. Being a serious artist is being someone who has visions to express-- not only to please others, and also, to find himself in it and he should find art as an absolute passion for his life, for his reason. He should express things in his own way. These should be his main goals. From that he should try to make belief, after having connecting with the public, the patrons, and gallery owners. He should be able to show art buffs that his journey is also associated with them, with human life, existence on the universe. His work should be a need for his survival. He should not just create a creation that people come and see; it should be his bread, butter "and wine". His work should be his absolute passion. The work should come from within. If an artist can be in terms with himself-- He can thus connect with the critiques etc.

The Star: Does an artist have the right to go on repeating his themes to win quick bucks even if the attempt might appear "factory -made"?

JJ: For an artist, if he finds a definite theme, and works on it, and finds that the theme is very successful for his audiences, if he feels that he can make good money out of it, sometimes things like these happen. But I think that a theme for an artist should not be about pleasing the gallery-goer, it should not be everything that he has to offer-- his personality and his world should be expressed. He, as an artist, should try to reinvent himself in different ways. He could even draw, in his whole lifetime, a tree in a lot of different ways, at different times. All his emotions could be expressed in the tree... in the time he is drawing. I think this is a creative process. It also depends on the artist's personality. It depends on how the artist sees himself or how he wants to discover himself -- his passion and enthusiasm should be blended into this. I feel that enthusiasm is one of the biggest things, which is lacking nowadays. The artist lives longer, as we all know about Picasso, who has drawn women all his life -- different kinds of women in different state, although various things are juxtaposed in the backdrop and in the forefront. This includes symbols; the expression of the line; form; colour; texture; surface; play of light and shade-- the elements of art. The artist translates and transforms-- in different ways, in different times of his life -- according to his emotional needs. The emotional need is important if the artist is into the venture of life.

The Star: Can a visual artist rest on his /her laurels? Can one present one's concepts of various mediums, even though this might be laughed at-- by his rivals--for example?

JJ: An artist can definitely express his concepts in different medias. Mediums have a lot of affect as the "artification "of art. I think that medias should be a way of expressing concepts of different visual feelings. But, at the same time, an artist should be into the very basic spirit of art, especially if we are talking about drawing. All the medias are very important. The style and feeling should come from his mind and feeling. According to me, following the trend is not vital.

The Star: Should the artist try to arouse up the viewer's thoughts by shocking him -- as is the trend in USA (some time back), and even in the art scenario in Dhaka?

JJ: The sense of shocking is not really the best process of capturing the viewer's interest. The feeling of shock should come naturally to the artist, as in the case of Francis Bacon, who wanted the get the feeling of flesh, as he felt that surface within him e.g. being just a follower, picking up a trend, and trying to be "cool" as an artist. This is stereotypical. The drive should come naturally. If weird ways are the manner in which an artist feels, I think this is what creativity is about. It is really difficult to tell nowadays who is a true artist and who is a charlatan. There is so much of interaction in the Internet, and all that. This is for the critiques to find out and understand. As Picasso used to say, "The betray of art", is creating art, which is a part of the artists' mind and soul. Following Dadaism and Surrealism: Conceptual artists are not prepared to follow this journey, in which he can go within and reconnect with the world outside. Rather, they want to be totally out and have fun.

The Star: Is competition necessary to improve oneself -- Can one not live in a garret, so to put it, and ignore the "slings and arrows" of life around?

JJ: The competition should be with the artist himself. If he finds out more about the world that he can't understand -- about himself and his environment -- slowly he wakes up to the way he can -- The journey of the artist is through eternity. I see the artist's life as a spiral base, which goes on and on. I think the artist is always finding, struggling -- within himself, his emptiness, his fullness. Sometimes an artist finds great wonderment. What he does, or what he feels is nothing and sometimes his "cup runneth over".

From Left: Javed Jalil, Clock woman love with movement. Brutal Passion on the hands of time.


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