BFA, 1967 National College of Arts, Lahore Diploma in Graphic Design, 1972 Central Institute of Arts & Crafts
Besides all the other subtle elements in his art, Akram Spaul’s work is known for its super realism. Taking inspiration from the Trompe-l’oeil style of painting as introduced by Rene Magritte, Akram creates images that are immaculate in their execution.
Akram Spaul graduated at a time when super realism was appearing as a contradiction and a rebellion against the art of Pollock and de Kooning, among others, that heavily relied on excessive show of emotion. That could be a reason why Akram’s work has a sense of objectivity to it, and the impeccable detail in his work speaks of that.
Akram can easily be termed as a classic super realist painter. He is a patron of the style in Pakistan, painting the everyday objects of our lives with amazing detail. He takes the seemingly insignificant objects that we use in our day to day lives, like pieces of furniture, a washing area, or a garden, and paints them with such vitality and detail that the images seem to come to life. Although, he doesn’t add a figurative element in his work, the viewer can somehow feel the presence of a human, which makes him an expert of representing the absence of a presence.
Akram Spaul mostly paints objects from the lives of the middle and poor classes of society, with the idea of bringing the inherent beauty of all these elements to light, which would otherwise be ignored. His focus is on the accuracy of detail and the colours of his objects.
Recently, Akram’s oil paintings seem to have a surrealistic gloominess in them. He adds elements like wind or a silent character to his work in order to add a surrealist layer to it. But even in doing so, Akram’s focus remains on the festivity of simple objects that define our lives. He gives these objects a three-dimensional vitality, and reminds the viewers how these objects are a vital part of their lives.
While most of his work is about the recreation of simple objects to add life to them, he also paints about the choices we make as a society. No matter what he paints, Akram Spaul has his own place in the art world of Pakistan. The way he paints seems to bring his subjects to life, and the Trompe-l’oeil style is a perfect tool for that. This style aims to bring a 3D illusion to the visual on a 2D canvas, and Akram is a master at it.