ARTisSpectrum Vol. 31, May 2014 - page 36

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ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 | artisspectrum.com
F
ahim Somani
describes his bold paintings as “blending East and West with a touch of contemporary.” Somani works
in a number of combinations of media, but most often in acrylic on wood with resin as an occasional additive. There
is no pictorial representation in the work; in fact the palette, textures, and shapes all veer sharply away from naturalistic.
Somani paints in surprising groupings of color, with a work including anything from a roster of neon yellow, cloudy purple,
deep crimson, violent fuchsia, or a simple beige. Compositions are kept to a minimal one or two geometric shapes, and
the planes are filled in alternately with a soft flatness or aggressive, shifting clouds of brushstrokes.
However, the paintings do feature a vital and traditional form of representation derived from Islamic art. Somani features
calligraphy as a central element in his paintings. The practice of intricate, beautiful handwriting is valued in the Islamic
tradition for its ability to promote and honor the text of the Quran. Somani experiments with calligraphy beyond its usual
elegance, using it as a small motif or taking it to oversized, iconic heights. The emphasis on two-dimensional patterns
and geometric compositions also come from an ancient Islamic aesthetic. But the tone and dynamism of the work is
thoroughly modern and takes from Western influences as well. In this way, the work can ingratiate itself with viewers from
all over the world. One of Somani’s most cherished goals is to have a Western audience understand Eastern aesthetics
through his work.
Somani was born in Karachi, Pakistan and currently lives in Houston, Texas, where he is an entrepreneur as well as an artist.
He has exhibited widely around the American South.
Fahim Somani
Script Mixed Media 144” x 56”
1...,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35 37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,...132
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