Friday, 16 September 2011

Farewell Princess

Its not often that we are on the same email list as Tina Ambani and the National Museum for Modern Art.

But every now and then we get a delightful email from S.M. Mansoor - an artist from Pakistan and modern practitioner of the ancient art of the miniature. I had met this fascinating gentleman 4 years ago on one of my very infrequent visits to the Jehangir Art Gallery.

His latest artistic salvo is called "Goodbye Shahzadi."

Wikipedia tells me that shahzadi can refer to a princess - but beyond that I was clueless - so I decided to write to S.M. Mansoor himself.

He responded immediately:

dear andi eicher,

this conceptual portrait belongs to mrs. benazir bhutto ex-prime minister of pakistan.

she was assassinated four years back during public address by suicide bomber in Rawalpindi.

so, you can observe the hardships & coming dangers ( angry black cloud on her head ) in her life.

which, i have mentioned earlier through this portrait on her first day to enter in pakistan after eight years self claimed asylum.

so, this is a sad & brief story behind the portrait.

dear, still. i remember you. because, we met in jahangir art gallery in bombay & you showed deep interest towards visual art.

might be with the reference of your sister.

i would like to invite you in lahore-pakistan hub of cultural activities like new delhi.


prof.s.m.mansoor artist/author/art educationist. lahore-pakistan
Art knows no boundaries. Or better said - Art can cross boundaries. Though it is not always easy.

However one may feel about Benazir Bhutto - the sadness of the face and the formal twist of the neck speak volumes.

Hearing from Mansoor that his painting was about Benazir resonated with me. As a 5th standard school-boy in 1979 I had stood up for a minute of silence. Our school had heard the news that her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (an 'old-boy' of my then school - Cathedral and John Connon) had been hanged by Gen. Zia.

A picture - even a very small picture - can pack a punch.

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