I met Amin Gulgee today and an urge to pay his beautiful gallery a visit over come me. In our country Art is thought to be something for the elite only. Some art galleries and a few snobbish artists who I wouldn’t ever name here, have created a misconception that art is only for the learned and rich few of the world.
A few years back I visited Amin Gulgees’ art gallery, I was not that learned on the subject but thanks to my esthetics for art his work deeply touched me. The dialogues I had with his sculptures of egg and hands trying to forcefully open the shell and enter the real dimension to discover the truth behind the mysteries of the world were unforgettable. While I was in his gallery he taught me several things, he described his work, he taught me how to feel a sculpture and although he was very busy he took out time to guide me through and talk to me. Only an artist of his stature could have done such a thing.
I have known some artist who are so snobbish that don’t even talk to you. In an exhibition meat a local senior artist who had her work on the display. When I said hi to her they way she responded back made me feel that I was not welcome. She briefly replied “Walaikum” raised her chin in shear pride and walked in another direction.
It is not so that all our artists are like this lady, there are only a few in the lot. I have seen that most of the artists I have meat like Amin Gulgee, Appa Raffat Alvi, Tipu Javari, Usman Ghouri and Rashid Akbar have taught me something or the other about art, they have been sweet, patient and have taken pleasure in guiding me although I have not been a student of any one of them but they are my teacher and I respect them dearly.
Art I not something through which an artist should boast about his skills, it is something an artists should use to spread his message to the masses. Art is not something only a few can look at and take pleasure from, it is for everyone to enjoy. As Riffat Alvi once said, ” My Art gallery is open to every one, he can be a rickshaw driver or a child, every one has a right to look at art and enjoy it, If a child will come and look at paintings she/he will enjoy the colors and if a lay man will enter the galley he can also enjoy splashes of colors or may notice some forms, while an artist can see the depth in the painting but at least every one will benefit from it”
I really hate the way some art galleries close their doors for people to visit exhibition if there are potential buyers looking at the work, I have been once denied access to one of the art galleries in Clifton just because there was a customer about to make a purchase. Also it is really irritating when people at art gallery ask “where are you from ?” does an art enthusiast has to belong to an art school or an organization ?
Art is for everyone, art is knowledge, without knowledge you cant understand anything let alone art and for an artist not only knowledge is mandatory but he also needs an eye to look through the superficial layer of the life which surrounds him. In art schools they teach us to censor Meera but they don’t teach us to peel through the superficial layer of life, they don’t teach us to look for the river “Dajla” in a drop of rain. They just teach us to splash paints on the canvas at which a new born child is better at.
Art is not something that can be taught, it cant be contained or created, it is a part of our soul which waits to be discovered. If you kill your soul everything dies with it and if you nourish it everything within it nourishes. Art is a sense to feel love, colors beauty and Allah. Art is the soul of the world. You cant contain, you cant master it you can just learn from it and let others now of it’s beauty.