Artist Abdul Gaffar Babu's third solo exhibition, titled Pixel of Emotion, is currently taking place at Allaince Française de Dhaka (AFD). The artist is an MFA graduate in Printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Art, University of Dhaka.
Gaffar's artworks may be categorised as psychedelic, surreal and op-art. It is interesting to observe elements of the contemporary art evolution that is taking place in the western world, and elsewhere in Gaffar's body of work. For a long time, Bangladeshi artists have been inclined to stay within the traditional realms of making art, which gave rise to an art culture that is distinct and separate from the rest of the world. Nowadays however, many new and upcoming artists dare to stray away from the conservative modes of creating art and delving into a much more exciting and experimental process. This is inspiring for the artists as well as the art lovers who crave to see the broadening of the art sphere in Bangladesh.
Many of the subjects in Gaffar's art are common in still-life paintings. Yet, he has chosen to take those subjects and paint them in his own style of geometric patterns and line art, which he tweaks to create illusions as well as portray shape, depth and form. It is also apparent that the artist is affected by many of the social and moral issues of being a citizen in today's world. Some artworks which depict his reflections of modern society include a drawing of a man's head within which lies a lock and many keys, none of which seem to be the one to open the lock. Another painting shows wild animals baring their sharp teeth encircling a human. A particularly moving painting is one that seems to be a mesh of his signature checkered pattern, but upon close observation, reveals a bird wearing a gas mask.
Gaffar's use of colour is clever, subtle and effective. On many occasions, he turns to somber hues of brown and grey, black and white. His style and subjects alone create a striking enough effect and forces the viewer to stop and stare.
The artist believes that it is his duty to show something new with every solo exhibition. He has developed this body of work over five years. He included installations made out of a curtain of beads which incorporate black and white to spell out the words, 'Peace' and 'Love'. He believes that much of what we see around us is inevitably filtered through our emotions. The exhibition will run till February 22.