A passionate art lover, who decided to pursue his passion, after decades of experience in public health. Arjumand currently ownes and runs gallery 6, the largest private art gallery in Islamabad.
Having his focus set on balancing the form and color of space and texture, Dr. Arjumand Faisel creates art that goes beyond what is on the canvas. Acclaimed by art lovers and critics both nationally and internationally, Faisel’s ‘MAL’ is a series of paintings that focus on the frailty of the female and the ferocious man who uses her.
Dr. Arjumand was deeply disturbed when he learnt of the suffering and pain experienced by little girls being sold as sex slaves, during his work with the National AIDS Control Program. He saw how men ‘displayed’ and sold their own sisters and daughters for the sake of money to men desperate to unleash their carnal desires. From the agony that the artist felt for these little girls, the three characters of his work were born: Malka, Aliya, and Laila. Together they formed MAL, which means something that is for sale, and is used by the people in this business to refer to these helpless girls.
Dr. Arjumand’s work goes past the physical and visual world of the canvas, and takes the viewer to the story that he is trying to tell with his images. The silhouettes of his early works have now evolved into forms that are bolder, more expressive, and more colorful. Pastels have been replaced by acrylics and the subtle happenings are now more defined.
Mohammad Jami, an art critic from Karachi, notes that the artist’s research into his subject matter is what makes his work so full of emotion. Everything from the forms he paints to the colors he paints in makes his visuals gripping and expressive, so that the viewer is drawn into the story. Another art critic, Mohammad Salman, praises Faisel’s work by saying that his exhibitions are much more than just a curated set of paintings, but rather a complete ‘visual novel’ that the artist has laid out for everyone to see. The characters that he uses, the frail girls and the men like Thakur Saheb, Chotey Wadera Sain, Talib, and others are indication of what the artist is trying to show in his work before the viewer even sees it.
The reason Dr. Arjumand’s work is so different from others is because he felt a need to paint what he felt. This ‘urgent voice’, as Bruce Colburn, an artist from the US who bought one of the artist’s paintings, puts it, is what existed in the works of legends like Rembrandt. He says that Arjumand’s paintings have a definite and a powerful voice. Arjumand’s work is so effective at getting his ideas and intentions through to the viewer that his technical input in the work seems to be completely absent and unobtrusive. That, according to Bruce Colburn, is the biggest compliment that can be given to any artist.
That is not to say that the artist’s technique is not present in the work. There is an exquisite calligraphic language, a powerful palette of color, and a perfect integration of Eastern abstraction and Western figuration in his work that cannot be missed. All of this works together to create a visual that speaks to people, that has an idea that cannot falter.
“So what’s the idea? It’s a deeply humanistic one. It’s about man’s place in his world. But I won’t spoil it. Go find an Arjumand painting, and let him tell you better and more poetically than I ever could.” – Bruce Colbern