Written by Razi Rumi
Recently, Aicon Gallery in New York exhibited Monomania — the first solo US exhibition of Karachibased artist Adeel uz Zafar. The title of the exhibition summed up the themes that the works encapsulate. Monomania presents a commentary on the shades of insanity where thoughts focus on a specific cluster of subjects; the excessive enthusiasm for a single thing, or idea. Zafar’s work is quite obsessive to say the least. The exhibition displayed large scale representations of children’s toys wrapped in bandages. These are everyday toy figures, such as Mickey Mouse, that kids are globally exposed to. Zafar also uses a special technique, whereby he scrapes away at a black latex surface, to create forms that appear to be three-dimensional. These gigantic drawings provoke viewers. The starkness of the images opens up the possibilities of interpretation, and also a connection with layers of past, that all humans and societies have undergone. Symbols in the artist’s work are global so their resonance is universal.