Unveiling the Visible
Inkjet print on canvas
2/3 prints available
Amber Hammad’s works combine history of art with the contemporary socio-culture of urban Pakistan. She takes already existing images from the art world and appropriates them while using her own image as the protagonist, and her social culture’s environment with ironical twists. The current political climate of Pakistan is far from normal, where religion, terrorism, media’s very young freedom and a tug of for between extremes, are only the norms. Being a liberal woman, and a mother of two, the paradox of finding the right place seems evident in the play of attire in her works. In her recent works she has started exploring art works of her contemporary living artists and not just old masters.
Hammad’s Unveiling the Visible is after Marc Chagall’s work Birthday (1915) where ‘Love and fantasy go hand in hand’ (Marc Chagall). Instead of the Russian interior, Hammad has used a Pakistani, Muslim, middle class setting. The display of love and affection is seemingly protected by the tender veil hindering the kiss of two lovers. Even though she tries to hide her face, her legs seem to be unveiling the flesh (this pattern can be seen in her other works too where head is covered while almost the whole length of legs are bare). The colors and pattern of the interior clash with the dull scene outside the window and so does the food laid at the table. The laws of physics seem to be distorted like Chagall’s works, and the composition also remains majorly similar.
Living and working in Lahore, Pakistan, Amber Hammad holds a Masters in Art and Design from Beaconhouse National University, Pakistan, and a BFA with distinction from National College of Arts, Pakistan, where she was awarded the prestigious Shakir Ali Award in 2002.
Image Courtesy | Amber Hammad