Shakir Mughal: Blinking Colours

Whitespace Gallery: Until December 3rd

Shakir Mughal’s solo exhibition Blinking Colours at the Whitespace Gallery on Howe Street explores the visuals we briefly witness after blinking.

The exhibition consists of around twenty paintings divided onto the four walls according to their palette. One side is entrenched in green patterns reminiscent of deep emerald rainforests or a washed-out electric current. Another wall is adorned with bright eye capturing red; flesh-like patterns similar to a microscopic image of thousands of capillaries embedded within our skin. His work is framed using matching colour frames in an effort to accentuate the vividness and in his own words deliver a ‘funky’ element to the paintings, which did work quite well given the nature of his work.

Mughal seems to be obsessed with this colour conception and abstraction, as he has been working on very similar abstract patterns for his last two exhibitions. Indeed, this surreal phenomenon of blended tonal patterns in the mind fascinates him. He states in his artist statement that he takes his inspiration from colours in their seemingly random “formation and collaboration” with no real structure or physical shape, as if they are fluid. The paintings are more about process, as they are made in many different ways. They might be placed on the floor with paint splashed and drizzled across the composition or the canvas is dipped into paint. This somewhat overshadowed the underlying concept behind the artwork as this was, unfortunately, relatively vague.

If the artist were to pursue more work based around shapeless colour concepts, it would be interesting to see a focus towards the process of painting, as Mughal has a talent for producing fascinating formations of colour patterns.

Image: Shakir Mughal

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