Mehtab Ali: An artist who rejuvenated the traditional figurative artwork with a touch of modernism
Authors: Aliza Irshad Ali and Urba Masood
Figure 1 Karachi-based artist Mehtab Ali with portrait of
Quaid-e-Azam displayed in Sindh Assembly painted by him.
Figure 2 Figurative work by Mehtab Ali: "Girls Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus," 2021.
Mehtab Ali learned the art of working on different mediums by following the footsteps of renowned artists. Mehtab Ali is also inspired by the Iqbal Mehdi, who is famous for his pen and ink portraits. Iqbal Mehdi once visited Mehtab Aliâ€™s studio and offered to teach him, so Mehtab Ali spent a year under his training.
Figure 3 Portraits of Brunei's Royal Family, Brunei painted by Mehtab Ali.
The 60 years old artist, who spent much of his life creating portrait and figurative art in his interview declared that â€œMy dream to express myself through creative art has come true.â€ He continued â€˜I would like to visit famous art galleries of the world and learn from the work of great masters,â€™ Mehtab Ali further added: â€˜I am determined to spend the remaining of my life studying the art.â€™
Sharing one of his biggest achievements, Mehtab Ali said he was specially selected to paint the portraits of the Bruneiâ€™s Royal Family. Special displays of the Aliâ€™s paintings have been held at the Royal Family Palace, Brunei, Our Future World Foundation, USA, Islamic Centre, Washington DC, Alliance Francaise de Paris, Germany and Japan Foundation, Tokyo and Raja Indisches Restaurant Kassel.Â He was also awarded with the scholarship of 6 million in 2009. In 1994, Aliâ€™s first solo exhibition was held at the Alliances Francaise de Karachi.
Figure 4 "The Pink Mosque (Southern Iran)" by Mehtab Ali - 2022.
As a eulogy to art lovers who assist and support him in his artistic struggles and undertakings, he enjoys doing their portraits as a token of thanks. â€˜Time and art are the only two commodities an artist can affordâ€™, he says modestly.