“Buy One, Get One” – Photographic overview of an art exhibition

Posted by Knonie

On a cold evening of 23 December, I went to see an art exhibition by a renowned Pakistani artist Hasnat Mehmood held at Rohtas Gallery, Islamabad.

Apparently, the displayed art pieces were looking a bit simple, and the familiar subjects were directly inspired by the famous and iconic works from art history that includes Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, The Starry Night by Van Gogh, Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol, Royal portraits of Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan and his Queen Mumtaz Mahal, and some works from older seals and reliefs of old civilisations. On closer viewing, that simplicity turns into complexity, and you find out that these works are created using graphite on paper in quick continuous circular strokes, taking care as to maintain the various tones. That lack of hard straight lines produced a very soft feel to the overall art pieces. Most of these works carry some label on them, that includes the actual title and name of the actual artist, along with text like “Made in China” or the mention of some other countries that provide cheap labour like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. This idea is quite strong in the modern sense of Capitalism, but apart from that, these works are visually very pleasing and they give different flavours depending on the distance of the viewer.

Work © Hasnat Mehmood, Photo © Knonie

I tried to explore the beauty of those works using my camera, and here are few of the shots I’d like to share.

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