Ahmer Farooq’s bold and vibrant art can best be described as sweetly chaotic. There’s a reflection of cubism at the foundation of his compositions as well as a straining towards a purity of line. One senses an urge for freedom throughout his oeuvre. Ahmer speaks to Afshan Shafi about the finer points of his practice

Please tell us about your background as an artist and your education in this regard.

I honed my artistic and creative skills through formal and semi-formal trainings. I completed my basic art education from Bedford Modern School and continued on to develop my broader professional skills with a MBA from Imperial College.

Which artists, local or international, have influenced or informed your point of view the most?

I love Sadequain, Picasso and Anish Kapoor though I think as an artist I can chart my influence and inspirations from anything and everyone.

What has been a seminal, life changing experience in terms of your art?

I believe life is too short and one should live each day to the fullest. For me every day holds the possibility of a life changing experience. This is the beauty of life.

Which of your creations are you most attached to and why?

I am attached to all of my art work. For me my creations are like my children. The way a mother nourishes her child with love and care, an artist nourishes his craft. I usually spend a month on each painting and it’s a very natural thing to get attached to each and every piece. Though there are some paintings that are like disobedient children who they don’t listen to you. You get annoyed at them sometimes but still love them dearly as they are yours.

If you could travel back in time to an era in art history which period would you choose and why?

I’ll rather travel to the future. I would love to see what artists are creating in the future and then come back to the present and produce it now. That would be fun!

What is your dream project?

I would love to show my work at the Tate Modern in London, especially in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall. That place really is a dream come true.

What work of art do you wish you owned?

Though I am not really an art collector but, if I could, I would love to own Sunflowers by Van Gogh.

Whose portrait would you love to make?

My own! I hope I don’t sound like too much of a narcissist. But I would love to do a self portrait. It would be interesting to see how I paint myself.

Which artists living or dead would you have loved to collaborate with?

Picasso would be my ultimate choice.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

At one of my solo shows, this lady came up to me and asked, “Did you paint all of these paintings yourself?” I was speechless.

What are you working on as a future project?

I have a few projects in the pipe line. This year I have a few shows lined up in Pakistan and abroad. I am also collaborating with an interior designer in the United Kingdom. He will use my art work on a limited collection of furniture.

All the paintings are from Farooq’s upcoming show called Forbidden Love at the Sanat Gallery, Karachi, in August

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