Zakir Shaikh

Zakir Shaikh
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Name : Zakir Shaikh
Nationality : Indian
Country : India
City : Mumbai
Category : Painting
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Artist Statement


There was a certain inevitability in my fascination with India, not in the least because I was born and brought up there but more for the persistence of imagery that I grew up with in Salegaon in the hinterland of Maharashtra. Imagery that came from my time spent playing in Hindu temples as a kid, assimilating religious motifs and the religiosity of rural devotees as they made their way to pay obeisance to the gods.

In their faith shone their innocence. In their rural garb shone the colours of their faith, all encompassing, simple, and pervasive. Their dark skin a testimony to their labour in the fields, coaxing the land into yielding their sustenance while relishing the earthiness in their lives; their faces, windows to their souls. It never ceased to amaze me how serenity could find a home so readily in what were surely grim realities of life in making a living from the land. Unforgettable faces.  

I was privy to these landscapes, human as well as natural, assimilating their ethos as readily as their faces. In the light of the lamps that shone brightly in the temples their shadows threw forms in turn, lending the lighted a soothing completeness even as the shadows of devotees brought the temple walls to life. The human spirit is surprisingly alive to the possibilities of faith, at once invigorating and deferent. None of this was lost on me. If anything it strengthened my resolve to explore this further, in colours and forms imprinted in my mind.

It is in the nature of things to identify with what is ceases to be a separate entity and becomes but an extension of oneself. It was no different with me. The human landscapes I grew up with is what I draw much of my sustenance from, seeking in their vividness meanings to my own feelings, finding them in my thoughts and aligning with them in my forms. 

I live and work in Mumbai, India.

                                                                                                                                                                      Zakir Shaikh