On the Necessity of Art: Part II

Symphony 1
Symphony I (Crescendo Rising), Acrylic on Wood, © N Nazir 2013

I love painting.  I know I said I’m a closet painter but I am out of the closet.  I just like to keep it hush in some circles.

It’s the visceral texture and nature of paint I love, the smell, the way it moves, bleeds, changes and morphs.  My later paintings employ this method of wet on wet, or free painting, as I like to think of it, painting without brushes, letting it do what it will, sometimes with a little coercion, slant the surface here, coax it there, let it seep, blow on it with straws.  You can sculpt with it up to a point.  You can blanket materials in colour and make an assemblage of your painting (think Julian Schnabel’s crockery paintings), you can wear it and roll around in it (think Yves Klein enormous performance art pieces and the models he used as his brushes), you can throw it all around the place and the marks will always be different (Pollock, obviously).  It’s a tantalising playground.  I would love to swim in a vat of it.  Give me a vat of blue and I’ll throw myself in.  (Residency, anyone?  I’ll do it if you let me).

I am also deeply sensitive to colour.  In fact, I am obsessed with colour.  Some I just want to eat and consume whole.  At times I will live in a particular colour for a while because my soul exudes it or is in need of it, and paint gives me immediate access to that colour with a need to assimilate it.  I don’t always know why I need it but it makes sense later on.  For instance, I need yellow when I am feeling hypersensitive to people or atmosphere; it provides me with a welcome barrier to all those energies flying around.  I wear black when I want to be voluntarily introverted, when I don’t feel any desire to communicate with anyone.  I’m just entirely comfortable immersed in whatever I’m doing without sharing.  I often live in a constant spectrum of blue and this has many meanings for me so I won’t go into that now.

Sometimes, all that needs expression is a single gesture, a single movement, a single mark with a single hue on a blank surface.  And that’s it.  Nothing else needs to be said. Any more would ruin the work.  If you don’t get it, the artist won’t care.  Somebody somewhere will understand.

However, I do need to be quicker at painting.  Sometimes they just take so long and I’ve already moved onto the next thing.  It feels good to finish a work.  Equally, it also feels good to leave a work unfinished, it’s better unresolved.  It has something more fluid and powerful about it.

Anyway, that’s enough about painting.

Birth Series I
Birth series, oil and thinner on canvas, © N Nazir 2009

© N Nazir 2016