Babar Azeemi: Wajood-e-Zan

This post showcases some paintings by the Pakistani artist Babar Azeemi, from his exhibition 'Wajood-e-Zan' (Existence of Women) at Ejaz Art Gallery:









Comments

Komal said…
I wonder how the artist would respond to unfeminine women, such as butch women?
Rekhaa said…
The paintings are brilliant! To my thinking and seeing, I feel the sentiments of loneliness in love being reflected there.

Something like:

"His footsteps have merged in the white foams of the ocean
He has left me alone to drink of the salt water, alas!"


@Komal

It's not just the artist himself but I wonder too how the world itself would have responded to this idea of painting butch women. Can't get much positive vibes thinking this. :)

When it comes to femininity it's always been a sorry state that a woman's predominantly perceived grace is her physical beauty. To me personally, every time this worthless and superficial sentiment becomes also a primary sentiment, and is expressed in any sphere (more so in human relationships as an emotion of romantic love), I think it should be taken as an occasion for men as well as women to try and hang their heads in shame. This perception devalues the intelligence and eminence of both genders and causes great harm to women mostly, especially reducing them to being and becoming always mere slaves of physical and sexual appeal in the world. Women are much much more than that and women should be the first lot to be convinced of this. Only then will this passionate affair of both men and women with the glories of physical beauty in femininity will reduce and finally vanish.

Hope to see such a day.
Komal said…
Rekhaa,

Yes, I agree, though I believe that gender as a whole has been a 'bad thing', and will cease to exist eventually. I am especially critical of femininity, which is a major trap women have been subject to for most if not all of human history.

Gender nonconformity is becoming more common now, and Inshallah more and more people will subvert gender until finally it comes to an end! Mwahaha :D
Anonymous said…
@ Rekhaa, I disagree - a woman in any culture shows who she is by how she dresses - and if there is such a thing an unhealthy obsession with appearance, so be it, but I doubt if you were to become dictator of the world and enforce your vision, those holding up half the sky would be completely thrilled. The subjects in these paintings seem to be alone, longing perhaps, but also planning, thinking, or even amusing themselves.
Rekhaa said…
@ Anonymous

I disagree - a woman in any culture shows who she is by how she dresses - and if there is such a thing an unhealthy obsession with appearance, so be it

Firstly, I respect your disagreement. And only that.

Now, I wish you had read my comment carefully which is the least duty to be done before taking any kind of objection. It is important to note that I have not pronounced my judgement on dresses anywhere. When I said 'woman's predominantly perceived grace is her physical beauty' I imagined this phrase pointed to physical beauty alone and its meaning was easy and obvious to grasp. To know what I mean by physical beauty refer:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_attractiveness. Does a dress come into picture? No. And when I used words like 'predominant' and 'perceived' I was at once suggesting how strong this sentiment is in the truth of its predominance and how weak it is when one thinks of the sheer falsity of such a 'perception' - which results in a constant misestimation of the true magnificence a woman's personality which finally leads to her suffering. It's a shame when you so carelessly throw the phrase 'so be it'!

In femininity this overdue importance to physical attractiveness might be a great incentive to so-called beautiful women but it ends in a cruelty by damaging the psyche of all such other perceivably less attractive and ugly women. So I request you to talk like a responsible person when you next again talk about issues of physical attractiveness and femininity together. Not doing a service through irresponsibility might be still acceptable but a manifest disservice through such irresponsibility of statements, is totally unacceptable.

Not just femininity, but the dangers of biases towards physical attractiveness can result in some real regrettable things to happen in the world. For example, this article mentions in passing that 'ugly people receive longer sentences than attractive people':http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2011/07/the-brain-on-trial/8520/. Is that a joke? Here is another excerpt from the item The Mark of Cain by David Hamling:

"The authors note previous work showing how more attractive people are more successful in their careers and earn more. This puts less attractive people at a disadvantage in the world of work and nudges them towards criminal alternatives. In addition, less attract ive people suffer socially, make fewer friends and build less of what the authors call “human capital”. They are therefore not as sympathetic to others and have less of an investment in society. This effect is far more pronounced in females, suggesting that they are judged on their appearance to a much greater degree. "

For full article:http://www.forteantimes.com/strangedays/science/3919/the_mark_of_cain.html

but I doubt if you were to become dictator of the world and enforce your vision, those holding up half the sky would be completely thrilled.

Thanks for 'doubting'. And fortunately using the word 'were'. That helped. Personally, since I haven't got a single dictatorial bone in my entire body, I take no inspiration, pleasure or support in any style dictatorship, including Anonymous style. :)

The subjects in these paintings seem to be alone, longing perhaps, but also planning, thinking, or even amusing themselves.

So? When is alone and longing, cannot one plan, think and amuse oneself too? In fact, I guess one can better planificate, thinkificate and amusificate about the 'object of one's affection' especially when one is lone and longing and this works. :)

Before I end, allow me to say that it helps if one is not so feckless in dealing with words - either when reading or writing. Reading and absorption give rise to one's ideologies. Ideologies are made manifest in words and these have power. And when unleashed, this power has an effect. So it pays to be responsible always :)
F. said…
My favorite is the last one, of the bored or lonely and rather sad girl in a courtyard watching (what I believe is) water dripping into a pot while birds drink from it every now and then. The picture makes a story I can delve into. It's beautiful.
I was also hoping for more of a comment on wajood-e-zen, though. I can find it but it seems unintentional. It feels like I'm looking at a woman's life through the eyes of an outsider. Beautiful, but delicately veiled.
Amara said…
I'll stay away from the debate at hand here and just say that the paintings are beautiful to look at. Stunning.
Sh@s said…
Awesome paintings. This is the first time that I am seeing the works of this artist. Thanks for sharing it here.