KARACHI: Modern art movement in Pakistan is relatively new as is the country. Great painters like Sadeqain found their own style and distinction. Bashir Mirza had a very distinct style and his paintings told stories in contemporary social context. Aamir Khatri also has found a special style be it paintings of horses or women _ two very strong subjects that are repeatedly seen in his paintings. The horses depictions were a common feature in classical Western art. Western or European art featured horses as symbols of power and purity. The fresco paintings were eulogized by the Catholic Church but painting horses was almost holy allowed by the strictly puritan mindsets of the monarchs who were greatly influenced by the Priests and Papal power. The painters expressed male passion and power in the depiction of horses.
In Aamir’s paintings the horses appear as men with life. There is usually a peaceful communal expression as if they are celebrating life. There is absence of rage fury hate or anger. It seems that the artist wants a peaceful life in which symbols of power derive their strength from almost a Divine Love. These horses are not those used in war. They are generally depicted white almost angel like.
His second favorite subject is women whose faces are markedly distinguished by the colour or the eyes. Here Aamir Khatri has matured his art by using different colours of eyes in same face to express the inner truth of the personality. Is it because of hypocrisy or is the character hiding something. Is the “hiding” a reaction due to circumstances _ Almost a feeling of “Taqqaya”. Here a spiritual and particular political context comes to light. This religio-social context has changed into a politico-secular context in the post-modern world. To escape Fascism the ordinary common man hinds his /her true self all wearing masks. Aamir Khatri depicts the faces almost like masks… He has perfected the Cubism form as an expression. In cubism the artist uses features separately to enhance the feeling of the depth and strength of emotion. Aamir has found his medium. His style in Cubism is Universal not regional. The colour palette he uses are usually warm. It presents a very pleasing appeal to the viewer. His use of blues also is very expressive to depict a coldness in social expression. The fine lines which the artist uses to divide his whole canvas is a master stroke to depict the anxiety the tension in creation. His art pieces give the viewer the strength of Goya, the depth and colour canvas of Gaugin, and the bold unique visuality of Picasso.
In the kaleidoscope of contemporary artists, he stands taller, strong and totally fit for collector art. Author: Meher-Zaidi _ Art Commentator, Poet/Writer Literary Critic _ Courtesy: Majmua Art Gallery, Karachi.