Rezowan’s artistic quest of greenery ambiance
Published : Saturday, 31 July, 2021 at 12:00 AM Count : 462
Once, Rezowan Pilow was very popular in the Rajshahi art scene but now he spends his time in Dhaka. He portrays lush greenery, tranquil nature and daily chores of common people. He did many commissioned works, especially portraits of seasoned personalities. He also focused on burning issues like fundamentalism, religious bigotry, political turmoil and economic crises. In his chequered career, the painter has used mediums like oil, acrylic and others. He has also done many watercolours on a wide range of subjects.
Pilow's father Khandakar Shahidullah was a high school teacher in Rajshahi. The late Khandakar also liked to draw and his drawings were really stunning and praiseworthy in terms of technique. He always encouraged his son to do sketches on different topics.
Pilow always took part at the upazila level art competition of Rajshahi. The competition used to be held in three categories - watercolour, sketch and clay mediums. Pilow participated in all of those categories and received high accolades. During the time when he was in Rajshahi, Pilow organised his solo exhibitions at different hotels, college campuses and school auditoriums as well as various cultural and social places in Rajshahi.
In around 2007 or 2008, Pilow arrived in Dhaka and started a new journey. He taught as an art teacher at different English medium schools in the city. In his career, he shifted to different jobs and presently he is the senior art teacher of Dhaka Cantonment Girls' Public School and College.
A number of his solo exhibitions have been held at different galleries in the capital and he has regularly participated at diverse group exhibitions. His subject ranges from socio-political and economic crises to personal conflicts, experiences, longings, joys, sorrows and various stages of individual life.
Rezowan Pilow began his career as a naturist painter. He has a passion for demonstrating the panoramic view, women busy with their daily chores, the magnificence of nature, riverine life, birds chirping and flying over the women, animals, cloudy skies, greenery with its rich abundance of colours as well as play of light, shade and calmness.
He prefers to portray seasonal changes, women in tranquil atmosphere, serene landscapes, animals and green paddy fields in autumn. The subjects of his works are cast in a solemn mood and their characteristics are consistently highlighted. Lighting is a prominent feature in his paintings and the artist generally prefers incandescent light and mystifying settings.
Pilow's canvas is not quiet or tranquil at all times; sometimes it emerges boldly and projects a defiant look. The artist uses the horse motif in a number of his works as a symbol of vigour. The horses appear well built and brawny.
His works also demonstrate contemporary life and times as well. The artist uses space to gradually interact more with figures. His female figures are always the most dominant aspect of his canvas. He not only portrays images, but also pours into them human emotions and animated expressions. His skilled hands can capture any kind of longing, pleasure, struggle, pain and passion.
A number of Pilow's paintings seem hazy. However, his concentration on composition and the objects' lucidity helps him overcome this rather vagueness. Some of his paintings set women and nature simultaneously. The painter seeks to express that women and nature have a spiritual connection. Perhaps he likes to imagine the feminine traits in nature. Without women, nature, to him, seems lifeless and unappealing.
It is noticeable that Pilow's in-depth observation helps him explore the details of his preferred themes. Women chatting in semi-urban setting, birds flying across the sky, women walking in the woods, romancing couples and many more are subjects of his lady-focused paintings.
Occasionally, Pilow uses a technique of his own, a kind of pointillism and textured background mixed together - and out of that the desired forms like sky, clouds, emerald foliage etc impulsively appear realistically. Pilow creates all these with the use of dots, lines, tones and shades. It is also traceable that deep layers of colours provide a unique texture to these canvases as they help to highlight the essence of different colours and what the colours really mean. Over the years, Pilow has developed this technique, which is very expensive and time consuming, requiring immense effort and devotion.
The writer is an art critic and cultural curator