'People around me' by Shad Fatima
14 × 16 inches, framed,
Acrylic on paper
About the artwork
After working in different mediums, I am working on drawing portraits now. Mostly portraits of women. Perhaps, being a woman, I find the feeling very strong to shape a woman’s body. Times are changing for women. But I feel we are still far from being where we need to reach. The movement has just started. Still women have no rights to take decisions or speak in important matters. Its not uncommon. There is always someone present to boss around. Be it family or society. They put up a different face in front of the society but behave very differently in real life. I think the very same emotion, of not being able to speak up or to raise your voice against this fake change, is what I try my female portraits to emote. And that’s what make them really sexy. They shout from their closed lips. Although they are very decoratively dressed, their eyes are dead, their faces are silent. There are so many hidden thoughts that they want to share. Sometimes the eyes or mouths are altogether absent. Probably because it makes little difference, what they think or what they say. One may also feel the presence of a prostitute like character in my portraits. But there is a strong opposition in their being, a helpless rebel who doesn’t want to carry on. My female characters also don an almost man-like physique with sharp and muscular features as well as proportions. Somehow I feel some kind of power in doing so. Even in real life, I have noticed that man like features are often seen in women and woman-like features can be found in men. There are hardly people who are cent percent men or cent percent women by characteristics. And probably that’s what makes everybody beautiful in their own way. Not to make a statement here, but because of this quality of showing subtle variations in gender specific features, I believe, same genders also attract each other. This may be the magnetism that attracts a man to another man or attracts a woman to another woman. I see all kinds of people around me. Sometimes I feel strange vagueness in their behaviour, misleading traits, amazingly inappropriate abilities. And I wish to explore more of this human nature in my work. Hence I wish to grow in my ability to portray these complex emotions and identities of human beings in my work of portraits, where I can be more honest about transforming my observation of beauty in my art.
About the artist
Shad Fatima is an Ahmedabad-based artist with a distinctive style of work. The figures she works with often seem destitute, helpless rebels of their cause, unable to fight their opposition. Their androgynous forms is an acknowledgement to the non-binary world we live in. Growing up, Shad learnt to find ways to express herself through her canvases, primarily as an outlet for her voice that felt stifled in the real world. In her worst moments of anger and frustration or simply escapism, she turned to paint, creating characters that had a personality and a world of their own. Shad’s work speaks to the countless women who do not have a voice in society. While the fight for equality continues, she believes that it has a long way to go. Her portraits are dressed beautifully but their eyes are dead and their faces stoic.
Shad was selected for the 7th Beijing International Art Biennale China in 2017 and has received awards such as SH Raza Award in Painting and Avishkar Van Gogh Award Kolkatta. Her work has been showcased at Creatives Rising digital exhibition in New York, Kanoria Center for Arts Ahmedabad, Lalit Kala Academy and Art Society of India.