Sabir Alis acrylic on canvas work has a figure at the fore that holds his head in his hands and the expression on his face as well as speech bubble show him screaming. Titled Scream,it resembles Edvard Munchs iconic and perhaps one of the most recognisable works in the art world The Scream. Yet,the two works are undeniably different. In Munchs classic,as the artist himself has been known to have said that the scream is a scream passing through nature. Alis work,however,shows soldiers and gunmen in the background,in an apparently war-ravaged land.
This work is one of many by the Santiniketan-based artist,currently on display at Sakshi Gallery in an exhibition titled Two Solos: Lee Hayan. Sabir Ali. As the name suggests,the show also features a number of paintings by Lee Hayan,an artist from South Korea,now based in Baroda. The exhibition will continue at the Colaba gallery till August 10.
Despite the fact that the show is something of a solo for both artists,there are definite similarities in their work. Lee,26,for instance,also revisits classics and borrows their imagery,transforming it into her own contemporary style. A series of works called Unfinished Lines of a Monologue represents the works of a number of different artists. Unfinished Lines of a Monologue for Rene Magritte is a painting in the style of the 20th century Belgian surrealist artist. Each time I would look at paintings and other art visuals,new things emerged to intrigue me, says Lee,speaking of when she first became involved in art. Perhaps my childhood memories of playing with the narratives of fairy tales percolated my consciousness and I found myself reinventing from images of existing art, she adds.
Lee paints in the style of the artist her paintings represent or,as in the case of Unfinished Lines of a Monologue for Leonardo da Vinci,chooses one work by the artist and represents it in a contemporary setting. Ali,27,has a different approach. Take,for instance,Scream. The original painting,he says,has been widely interpreted as representing the universal anxiety of modern man,adding that his is simply a creative response to war.