Salman Toor is a Pakistani contemporary painter, who successfully creates art that is both intimate and relatable. Fortunately enough, I got the opportunity to view some of his works at Lahore Biennale Festival 2018. One particular painting which stood out for me the most was titled “East Village Apartment #3”. Apart from the array of magnificent colors ranging from dull blues to yellows, and the larger than life brush strokes that got bigger as I stepped closer to the painting, this work symbolized an everyday evening spent watching television. However, when looked closely we see the news displayed on the television, and a burning building is seen outside the window of the room. After a clear observation of the characters in the painting, I felt as if their demeanors were deliberately made relaxed; almost as if they exist in a state of oblivion. The carelessness of the hands, the comfortable sitting and lying down positions, and the casual sharing of a drink- all symbolize a façade people build in order to avoid realities that exist outside their room. A certain thematic concern of chaos versus forced order comes into play. The chaos that exists outside is overlooked by slaving for a forced order that exists in our rooms, and apartments. This piece reflected the problem of oblivion which is commonly found among the masses in this day and age, and hence, became a significant tool for self reflection.
East Village Apartment #3 By Salman Toor
Jun 1, 2018