If you believe there's a thin line between profundity and interpretation in paintings, it's fortunately easy to see which side Arif's on.
An exhibition of figurative paintings in acrylic, watercolor and charcoal by Syed Ali Arif is on at the Lakshana Art Gallery. The collection titled Games, Memories, Life... is sub-divided into three groups of ten paintings each, based on these themes.
In his first series The Games, Arif's works are all watercolor and charcoal on paper, and are about how people resort to playing games, politics and back-stabbing to establish themselves or to climb the success ladder. This, he portrays with the game of snakes and ladders.
The second series, Memories, is about real and covered faces. People look different within themselves and on the outside. Arif explains this by way of masks, and so this series contains faces with and without masks.
Life, the final series, is about environment and ecology. The paintings throw a message of destruction of the environment and destroying of ecological balance. Here, Arif doesn't focus his paintings on the cutting of trees or the clearing of forests, but cleverly plays with the colors and the hues. He has used people adoring exotic flowers, and portraits with red or black backgrounds and golden flowers. As red stands for danger, black for gloominess and pollution, and golden for preciousness, these send out a clear and lasting message to onlookers.
Syed Ali Arif is a self-taught artist, who learnt shading, coloring and sketching from Dr P R Raju for a year. This is his second solo and fourth exhibition overall. He does only figurative art on the media of watercolor and oil paints on canvas and paper. At present, he is also experimenting with charcoal on paper. He paints anything that appeals to him or concerns him.
The exhibition is on till 30th March. For further details, please contact the art gallery at 2337-8033.