These are the recurring themes conspicuous in versatile multimedia artist Owais Husain’s works as he attempts to explore his ability to curate history as an artist with a canvas so vast and a life too short, he says.
considered the most celebrated and internationally renowned Indian artist of the 20th century often called the ‘Picasso of India’, Owais sees himself very different from his father in their artistic paths but very similar in their thirst to explore them and discover their own identities.
“In think our works and paths are very different from each other because he started 50 years before I began as an artist so his time and context of history, which influences language, were different. The similarity was that we were raised and share about who we really were wanting to find out where our selves really belong to-our identity,” Owais told The Peninsula.
Though they belong to different schools and generations as his father was very much associated with modernism while he is a contemporary artist, they are both prolific with an unquenchable thirst for art.
“I think the biggest point of being exposed to him was I have this insatiable appetite that I feel I should explore through expressing my work. I feel the canvas is too immense for me, more vast than what my hand can reach so I’m trying to sort of explore that expanse. I want to explore my creativity, my expression, my ability to express visually.”
Fluent in film, photography, painting, sculpture, installation and poetry; Owais assumes a ‘polygamous’ relationship with art in the form of various mediums, which he considers his muses.
“I tend to fall in love with my muses whether it is painting, poetry, film, or photography. I live in a kind of complex relationship with my mediums which I call my muses. It’s a kind of polygamous situation. I am very much at ease with each medium.”
It is but explicable to see the artist’s eloquence in varied art forms looking back to his fecund experience in chasing his artistic expression from a tender age.
“It’s a lifelong process; it’s not now. From the time I did my first painting at three to writing poetry from age nine to running away from boarding school to wanting to be an artist at 11 to discovering and falling in love with cinema at 17. The only thing I knew was to paint but I wanted to explore abstraction and because I wanted to explore abstraction I was always in a curious mode to explore these different mediums.”
From among the rich collection of works on display at the first Start Doha contemporary art fair, Owais’ body of works stands out not only for its aesthetic value but for its texture and depth.