Written by M.A. Azad
Rajasthan is home to India’s most elaborate artwork. From hand-carved animal sculptures to larger-than-life puppets, a myriad of artwork can be found in Udaipur. The city has given many artists to the world. Let us talk about someone who is famous but not in news.
Born in the year 1949, Abdul Rashid, commonly known as Rashid Sir is an interesting man, a multifaceted Personality. If he captures your interest through his art, he also amuses you with his teaching ability. Udaipur’s resident, a teacher by profession and an artist by hobby, inspires a feeling of awe even as he opens his studio –with Clay Pottery, Sculptures and Versatile Paintings.
He spent his early childhood in a small village of Rajasthan called ‘Devli’. He loved drawing more than school, noticing that the fatherly figure an English Literature scholar his elder brother Principal A. Rauf, who was the sole bread winner for the family allowed him to fulfill his dreams. With the innate passion for art, he joined the University of Udaipur and obtained a Master’s degree in 1976. During this phase, he developed a deep appreciation for the works of artists like Dr. O.D.Upadhyaya, the name well known in M.L.S.U University. He considered him as his guide, mentor and the best teacher.
After completing his professional education he joined St. Paul’s Sr. Secondary School as an art teacher. He gave the detailed training and described the way to develop illustrations. He emphasized the students to improve the sketch part, as it would help them to join any Engineering, Fashion design or Architect training institution.
Rashid`s pioneering spirit has made him experiment with a wide range of mediums like Clay, wood, oil, water and soap stones. Rashid developed his own style with time. Though he incepted doing figurative paintings, he gradually moved on to abstract later on as his works were published in some of the well- known magazines like ‘Navneet Digest’(Mumbai), ‘Aajkal’(Delhi), ‘Veena’ (Indore), ‘Tahreer’(Delhi), ‘Sahabkhoon’(Delhi), ‘Sambodhan’(Rajsamand) and An introduction to computers(Udaipur). Some of his works can be seen in the campus of St. Paul’s School, Udaipur. They show the meticulous manner in which he has worked upon his paintings. His paintings pulsate with throbbing energy as they are incorporated with different materials such as sand, cement, straw or wood for their texture. He participated in a group show organized by Lalit Kala Academy, Jaipur in 1977. Whereas; his works were appreciated in the show ‘Sharsti group of artists’ in 2009.
As we know, all artists are thinkers, powerful thinkers. They hold a strong introversion within themselves. They follow the concept of viewing the world from inside, the inner self, inner ideas, and then moving outward. Likewise, Rashid never wanted to become famous and earn a good amount of money, he was satisfied with his career as a teacher. That’s the only reason he chose to teach. His paintings showcasing landscapes and townscapes during the 80′s gradually metamorphosed to become expressive abstract works.
The dire poverty and misery of people all round anguished Rashid too much when he was young. As such, most of his early paintings are a pungent reminder and pointer at the sorry state of affairs in the society during his time. He believes in not hurting religious sentiments through paintings. When he was asked about his paintings he says, “These can’t be explained”. Probably, he believes in Picaso, who says:
“As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language.”- Pablo Picasso, Art World
Rashid is also a good photographer, not only stills but live portfolios are also included in his mastery. He’s a die-hard fan of actor Guru Dutt. He’s also fond of music and reading. Basically, he listens to ‘Talat Mehmood’ tracks. He says, “I worked as an art director for the first ever made video film in Udaipur ‘Kalyug ka Tantrik’ and ‘Mehka Aangan’. The versatile painter is planning to exhibit his new works soon.
Last year he has retired from his job, but he is always seen surrounded by his Ex.Students, who touch his feet and love him for many reasons.
On the behalf of UdaipurTimes.com, family and friends, I wish him a good everlasting happiness and success.
M.A Azad is a director, writer and poet from Udaipur. His works were published in ‘Samata Sandesh’, ‘Madhumati’ and ‘Sambodhan’.