Nida Bangash_Attested|Arrested_Natural pigments on khadee paper_16 Units_ 4x6 inches each_2010
Detail: The Ultimate Guide for Healthier, Less Toxic Living_Gouache, ink on waslee and mylar_ 6.35X5.08 cm each_ 2009-10
The Ultimate Guide for Healthier, Less Toxic Living-01_Gouache, ink letter stamps on waslee and mylar_14x20 inches_2011
"Painting offers artists a chance to subtly segue between fact and fiction, to layer each work with the time it takes to complete it, to retain a sense of fluidity while working so sections can rise and fall in importance."
Drawing inspiration from family and studio photographs this body of work investigates the horror of reality _ the erasure of human sentiments. A photograph is a moment; a split second captured with a click and the 'beauty' of it is that it never changes. Looking at these generic portraits as a departure point Bangash translated this 'beauty' into ironic reality of loss, impermanence, erasure and human absence substituted by patterns. This metamorphic conversion of human form is just a subtle reminder of rediscovering the obvious.
A series of generic "Doll like" portraits supporting adult expressions and confrontational attitude have been visualized in the form of passport size "attested" photographs. They not only provide a common ground of identity, it reduces the element of nostalgia attached to photographs in turn dealing with the irony of reducing the sanctity of humanity down to numbers. The eyes look up at the viewer with what seems to be an expressionless, strong gaze, almost, as if posing a question to the viewer. The wide-eyed faces indicate the contradiction between the ‘doll-like’ and the narrative that is being built with patterns. The portraits question the scope of a photograph, the significance of the number, gender politics, and the socio-cultural associations with the passport etc. in a language we all speak. Bangash also works around the whole idea of posed photographs and how while posing we look straight into the camera and eventually strait into the viewers eyes. The strong confessing gaze via a series of “Doll like mannequins”, ageless, genderless, identity less, adapt themselves with the props and accessories attached to them.
Idiosyncrasies involved in passport photographs regarding gender, age, nostalgia, resemblance and preciousness of the identities embraced in one’s passport, builds a narrative around a character, which becomes inseparable from the image. A portrait devoid of all these characteristics not only questions the existence of all these concerns, but for Bangash, these generic portraits break the sanctity of individuality. Underlying these painted representations of manipulated photographs is a narration that talks about this metamorphosis that doesn’t deal with evolution, On the contrary dehumanization of being.