You might remember me writing about a wonderful mural of Abdul Sattar Edhi that appeared on a Karachi wall sometime ago. Syed Mohammad Raza, the man behind the artwork, is decidedly found of painting the walls that surround him.
Not that anyone should be complaining; he can paint a mural like no other.
But his artwork isn’t limited to murals; like many accomplished artists, he does dabble in various mediums. What binds his works together is the inspiration behind them. His works have often celebrated the country’s grassroots leaders, artists and personalities.
As someone who loves the country’s creative scene, I’m always looking to tap into the inner workings of an artistic mind. And I decided that the only fair way to understand the creative process behind the artist was to quote him directly. Because of this, I asked Raza to describe some of his own work.
A Renaissance Man
“This one is a mural sketch I did inside my studio, it is inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. I have painted few murals in my studio and this is one of them.
Nayab Noor (pictured) a friend of mine, visited me while I was painting it. And I asked her to collaborate with me.”
“This is a photo from my recent trip to Istanbul. Taken right after breakfast in one of the busiest places in Istanbul near the Blue Mosque.
I was with my friend and art collector Russell Smith and Istanbul based American artist Trici Venola.”
“A painting I did for Neshmia Ahmed, titled ‘Tribute to Pakistani artists.’ These are all Pakistani artists and Neshmia commissioned this painting.”
A Collaborative Mural
“This colorful mural painting was actually completed by art students from various institutes. These included the Karachi School of Art Visual Studies department, CEAD Jamshoro, and the Arts Council of Pakistan.
I was leading this project, and it is acrylic on canvas.”
Sketching a Legend
“This pen drawing is a portrait of our legendary Sufi singer Abida Parveen. I used a photo from Coke Studio and the inspiration behind this is Abida Parveen herself.
I think she inspires artists in many ways. The poetry that she recites, by the likes of Naseer Turabi or Baba Bullay Shah, is very deep and inspirational indeed.”
A Living Work of Art
“I painted this dress in Avari hotel. At the time, the Italian Consulate General was celebrating their National day. They hired me for a live painting performance.
I was dressed completely in white and the model was wearing white too. And I used red and green for the painting; the three colours of the Italian flag. I have to thank Amin Gulgee for his recommendation.”