Saving controversial celebrities from falling downCultural Correespondent
The internationally acclaimed artist Firoz Mahmud is exhibiting some unique experimental artworks in his solo exhibition at the Dhaka Art Centre in Dhanmondi.
The 10-day exhibition, inaugurated by another internationally acclaimed artist Shahabuddin Ahmed on Tuesday, features around 60 manipulated photographs, sculptures, pure paintings and installations by Firoz Mahmud.
The show features some experimental paintings marking the history of Bangladesh, a favourite topic of the artist.
The main attraction of the display titled ‘Loss of the Toss is Blessing of Their Disguise’ is, however, the artist’s experimentation on the images of the controversial celebrities.
It is the last edition of Firoz Mahmud’s experimental photograph project `Ninki: Urgency of Proximate Drawing’ based on controversial celebrities, which he initiated while living in Japan. Ninki in Japanese means popular.
In the show, Mahmud is displaying some selective manipulated images, which he had earlier exhibited at different venues in the UAE, Japan, Indonesia, the UK, Germany and the USA.
The show displays numerous archetypal images of popular celebrities, who have also created controversies, in vague appearance. But, it is not a mere photo exhibition rather it is the display of experimental multimedia works to give relief to these controversial global figures.
He has experimented with images of celebrities from various fields including Julian Assange, Michael Jackson, Italian former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidan, Shoib Akhter, Salman Khan, Sanjoy Dutta, Mike Tyson, top Japanese Sumo wrestler Asashoryu Akinori.
Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, cricketer Mohammad Ashraful, exiled writer Taslima Nasrin, and actor Ananta Jalil are also themes for such experimentation.
Firoz Mahmud said that he took photographs of the celebrities or collected those as found objects from magazines, billboards and advertisements.
He draws remarkable lines around the celebrities to balance them where they are about to fall and also to soften the rude gestures of the celebrities in the photographs.
‘Their idolised appearances are highlighted by protective line drawings that display an awareness of the per-formative ethos of iconic expressions,’ Mahmud said.
The drawing line structure underneath the falling position imply that ‘stardom can’t fall’ from the gestures and positions that they are held in.
‘I am rescuing them from their predictable danger. Celebrities including Sumo wrestlers, musicians, sportsmen or politicians or from entertainment industries whose activities and character are anarchistic and individualised and all have been blemished by controversy for one reason or another,’ artist Firoz told New Age.
Sometimes, the cut-out lines are left and most of the times lines are painted with Ink, gel-based roller ball pen, felt-tip, correction fluid and acrylic paint. The cut out areas become cubic line structure, which correspond with the viewers.
Mahmud said that he started such experimentation on the images of Bengal tiger as part of Halcyon Tarp Project and at the same time on Sumo wrestler as many Japanese popular sumo wrestlers are involved with controversy.
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