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Hamid Alvi

Hamid Alvi

I was born in Karachi in 1951, and have spent most of my life in Karachi. I was educated at Karachi University. Needless to say, the city is inextricably linked to my work: the shanty towns, the pale monochrome of our buildings against the backdrop of our moody skies. It is all very raw, powerful, and inescapable for an artist. But the opportunity to get into fine arts presented late in life, I always had an artistic disposition, before being a painter I was an entrepreneur and fashion designer. I started my own garment business, designing and making clothes. Designing is one thing, but business is not my territory, I suffered heavy losses. Along with professional difficulties, I also faced some personal misfortunes. Only after hitting rock bottom did I fully turn myself to art. I first began painting with A.Q. Arif in 2006, in a shared studio.

What I’m arriving at, I guess, is that point that I’m another living proof of the revitalizing power of art. I began painting not looking to become a professional: it is therapeutic, and incredibly uplifting. Art has embraced me, and I continue my love affair with art by trying to portray with honesty, delicacy, and incisiveness, the colours of my country. With the unswerving support of my wife, I have gone from strength to strength, both artistically, and in my life.

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