ANJUM SAEED ARTIST
My medium is oil. With a palette knife I approach the canvas and use it to match my bold style and expression. Lost in my world, the work that emanates, unlike my reserved personality, bursts with vibrant colors and feelings. Even though I have a theme in mind, like a verse from Rumi, what emerges is inspirational.
My earlier work reflected my own journey. ‘Rakht-e-Safar’ means ‘The Struggles of Life’s Journey’ was the title of one of the exhibition. The collection was inspired by my personal struggle, ability to cope with all situations and yet have faith to rise above it all. The message was about compassion, persistence and awareness of a Higher Power.
Paintings such as “…have faith in your path. Follow it as you can. Change it if you must…”and”… do not give up the search for the sea. As you get closer, the murmur gets louder…” are presented in abstract form with the underlying message that we need to be proactive in order to reach our goals or follow our path. “Find the path that glows like a sunlit day rich in remembered scents and promises. Then follow…” The miracles are within us all, as they are also around us. My hope was people would interpret my work in whatever way it helps them, evaluate their own struggles, consider the conflicts of others and surmount to higher stages.
I call to witness the sunset’s (fleeting) afterglow,
And the night, and what it (step by step) unfolds,
And the moon, as it grows to fullness:
(Even thus, O men,) are bound to move onwards from stage to stage.
My recent exhibition was inspired by the satellite images of the Earth in Douglas Palmer’s ‘The Complete Earth’. The book had caught our eye when my daughter and I visited Barnes & Noble. It was the Earth but a different view of the Earth; visually appealing with a range of gradation; moving in and out; brilliant colors in part, soft and subtle in others. I wanted to recreate a ‘global portrait’ of our planet by using thick luscious oil paints along with spontaneous scribbles and washy drips. It was about the metaphysics of the Earth subtly reflected upon the absence of boundaries and the blurring of borders. What really drew me in was where the author talks about manmade boundaries being ‘invisible and irrelevant’. It hit a cord within me. No barriers, same sufferings, same joys. Humanity as one!
I tried to rebuild a photomap of the planet, consciously evaded any kind of confines, restraints and limits. Political and social margins disappeared and became immaterial. What remained significant was the fluid and marbled landscape in its entirety.
1970 Bachelor of Fine Arts First Division, Central Institute of Arts & Crafts, Karachi, Pakistan
School of Visual Arts, New York, US
Parsons School of Design, New York, US
Printmaking, Encaustics & Pottery Courses
Visual Art Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ, US
Center for Clay Art, Lake Hiawatha, NJ, US
2016 ArtExpo NY New York
2016 HIVE Gallery Chester, NJ
2014 “Untitled” Bloomingdale’s, Roosevelt Field, Long Island, NY
2013 “Zameen Aasmaan Se”, Koel Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2012 “Untitled”, Kinnelon Center, NJ, US
2012 “Mein”, Koel Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2012 “Open Arms”, Brooklyn Waterfront Arts Coalition, Brooklyn, US
2012 “Untitled”, Visual Art Center, NJ, US
2012 “Unbound Perspectives”, Agora Galley, New York, US
2011 “Rakht-e-Safar”, Koel Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
2002 “Off the Wall”, Jersey City Museum, New Jersey
1972 Group Show, Rawalpindi Arts Council, Pakistan
1971 Two Man Show, Indus Gallery, Karachi, Pakistan
1969 Group Show, Arts Council of Karachi, Pakistan
2006 Arabic Alphabet, Niche Publications, Inc.
2005 Special Issue: Special Needs Illustration, New York Times
2005 Special Issue: The Arts, New York Times