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Art speaks for him

Differently-abled Khaled Mohammed, a self-taught artist, uses a different technique in his works


THE CANVASES (recently mounted at an exhibition at the ITC Hotel Kakatiya Sheraton & Towers) bear the imprint of a professional but on closer look they are the works of Khaled Mohammed - a self-taught artist. This differently-abled man (he is hearing impaired) from Parbani, Maharashtra now relocated in Hyderabad thanks to Virtual O (an organisation conceived by deaf individuals which tries to showcase the creative talent of the differently-abled artists and to bring their products into the daily lives of people) put up his first show.

Mohammed has used the marbling technique not often used by artists. The semi-abstract works in a bright colour palette have a fine print-like quality. The process of his discovery of this technique is interesting - it was sheer serendipity. When he dipped his oil-paint brushes to clean them one day he was fascinated by the spread of colour in the water. So he decided to use that technique on paper by pouring paint.

By trial and error, he grasped the process and the result is for all to see. According to eminent art historian and collector Jagdish Mittal, "this technique was used in the early 17th century (in Bijapur and Golconda). Water-based colours were used with aloe vera which served as binding material."

The technique is a difficult one - to control the flow of colour requires some expertise. But Khaled Mohammed has been able to master it - the works have a fluidity about them. The flow of colour takes unusual semi-abstract shapes - it could be like a dolphin, hen, plumage or journey.

His strongpoint is the usage of colour. As Jagdish Mittal says "there is skilful use of colour." Compared to these works, his figurative works done earlier, almost pale in comparison. For, they are just mere depictions of everyday life - at the railway station, or at the well.

Khaled took to art after seeing a sidewalk artist at work in Parbani. He persevered in art despite his family's disapproval. He participated in art competitions and he was spotted by Virtual O at a competition and offered him a steady salary, studio space and art material. For a self-taught artist, he has the talent, enthusiasm and dedication and to forge ahead in the field given the necessary encouragement.

For more details contact: 23155745 or 9849312182 (SMS only).

R.R.

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