A case of art and soul

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8th January 2017
A case of art and soul

Art has historically been proven to be the very first language with which humans chose to communicate. Symbols, signs and colours formed the basis of what we define as today’s languages. In similar vein, the future of the world art market is just as inextricably bound to the changes in our society and its role in the world.

Representing this concept is Hesham Malik, a leading contemporary artist who currently holds the record for the most expensive painting sold by an Indian artist. In spite of his consistent colossal success in the international art market, Hesham painted both for personal satisfaction as well as to help charitable organisations. As an individual who has had health issues that have controlled his lifestyle, Hesham understands and empathises with differently abled people and has often worked with and supported organisations working in this field. Hesham Malik will be displaying 20 of his artworks in an exhibition titled 'Mukha – The Intimacy', at Carpe Diem Art Gallery in Majorda.

Hesham has selected one artwork, '8 Griffions' to be auctioned at the exhibition. The proceeds will be donated to a NGO – Sethu – Centre for Child Development and Family Guidance, which has been helping children get the best out of their lives as they grow and develop.

Herald Café: Why choose this particular charity, when there are many causes to fight for? What is it about this cause and charity that makes things more personal?

Hesham Malik: There are many charities that have countless donors and supporters. Along with this, they are publicly funded and supported financially by the state. On the other hand, we have charities like Sethu, which was realised purely by the passion and understanding of common people. Six women decided to go ahead and put in their best efforts to help the children of Goa. The charity that started years ago is still standing and is helping a greater number of children today. Their story needs to be heard and people from our society, our families, need to join in to support charities that need the financial and emotional support.

It makes it more personal because it was a dream, it was realised by few women and above all, it’s towards the benefit of our children. There are many people out there who need support for their children, if it was provided by other institutes, Sethu would not exist. The fact that these women realised that need and accomplished a proper centre for the children is heroic. As a human and as an artist I connect with Sethu, I connect to the children. I am sure many others will join in and become a part of this centre and feel the magic of heling along with the team of Sethu.

Herald Café: What do the seven griffons symbolise? How do you know, that as a viewer, every single human being can complete the set, by being the eighth one?

Hesham Malik: According to a myth, griffons are the pets of god. In the painting, they are all in the form of females who change into half lion half eagle whenever needed. It is said that god wanted a true and pure creature and that’s how griffons came to exist.

I do not think everyone would connect to be the eighth in the set. Maybe some of the viewers would directly connect to the eighth one and complete the set by realising to be the eighth one. At the same time, some would be like me, who would not be able to be the one to complete the set but wait for the answer to arrive in time. For me, the painting was selected for Sethu and I realised the eighth for me are the children.

Among the entire 'Mukha' series, the '8 Griffons' painting is my favourite and I am happy it became a part of Sethu.

Herald Café: What is the story behind the piece of art, and why was this piece in particular picked to be the subject to this venture?

Hesham Malik: I used to volunteer at an old home in Toronto, where I was told a story about angels by a senior members. "The angel who protect us during our darkest hours are the pets of God. To protect us, they change from lion to eagle as required. These angels were created by god to be in their most pure form. God chose the birth giver - the women - for this task. In our world, there are places were women are seen as inferior, but in reality, the beast within a woman is released when evil needs to be destroyed"

As said earlier, among the entire 'Mukha' series, '8 Griffons' is my favourite. It’s been close to my heart and the myth behind it is very powerful and angelic for me. Above all, realising the eighth griffon to be the children was a beautiful feeling for me as an artist.

'Mukha – The Intimacy' will remain open till February 3, 2017 at Carpe Diem Art Gallery, Majorda, along with the auction for charity.