GROUPS ACCEPTED AMERICAN JASPER JOHNS
AS FATHER OF ART GIMMICKRY IN PAKISTAN
Ideology gone berserk again and again
The father of Art in Pakistan was M.A. Rahman Chughtai. Hundred Percent. And he remains the father of Art in Pakistan. Not very well understood by the art circles in Pakistan, but excellent understood by the people of Pakistan. The same people who called Dr Allama Iqbal as the Shair Mashriq and Abdur Rahman Chughtai as Mussawar e Mashriq. The matter would have rested fine.
Then a group of people were sent here to ride the Western bandwagon of the times. PABLO PICASSO became the new rage in Art Schools and Art circles. No one even understood Picasso. The only rage was to copy, to imitate, and then to get advantage from vested interests. Pablo Picasso an exceptional draughtsman, termed his own art, as a way of fooling the people of his times. We have his interviews in our archives, in which he make fun of those who took his adventures seriously. Then this Abstract Art withered away.
Post Modernism, Pakistan sought to imitate again and again. Now the real thing is that people of Pakistan merely get bewildered as they see this reclusive Modern Art in Pakistan. NA SIR, NA PAER (no head, no foot), this anarchy in Art created a serious Ideological crisis for Pakistan. Then somebody fed the Pakistan artists to make fun of Islam, Islamic values and Pakistan. An endless parade of disparagement started here.
The two beer can versions of Jasper Johns startled us all the time. And then he told us its reality. He said the cans are there TO MAKE YOU THINK. On beer can is smaller than the other, and one can is open. It seems people here could not even see that and thought that real thought had come to their empty minds. We of course have no issues with that but the public was awed out of love for the Fine Arts. No one remains interested in Arts to the extent that one cannot even find a VIP these days to inaugurate a show. His disgust and total unawareness can be seen from miles. But afraid of being ridiculed for his lack of knowledge, the VIP remains quiet and obedient to the invitees of the show. Clap your heart out, there is nothing there.
Art and Fine Art seeks a reaction from the public. That Art which does not evolve any reaction from us is merely useless endeavour meaning nothing. Dr Allama Iqbal warned us a long time back:
“O Wise ones! It is well to have a thirst for knowledge,
But what is in art that faileth to grasp the reality of things.
The object of all art is to attain the warmth of life immortal.
What availeth a spasm or to that vanish like a spark!
Without a miracle nations cannot rise,
What is art without the striking power of the Moses staff!”
A thing of beauty is indeed a joy forever. Things passed as beauty by berserk critics will only bring sorrow to us. We were a nation of intellectuals, but it looks like we are morons of the world now.