Pakistan is slowly and gradually catching up with what everyone else in the world is doing. For starters, Pakistanis have realized that we need to invest in our art and culture. By art, we mean books, films, paintings, dance – anything that emotionally and intellectually stimulates a person. We’ve seen a revival of cinema; we’re seeing a revival of the music industry as well. Now, our graphic art is also coming into the limelight. While there are many Pakistani artists who’re doing incredible work, we took notice of three artists whose work deserves recognition.
The first person on our list is Shehzil Malik because she has created one of the most recognizable images recently. She is responsible for the album artwork for Patari Tabeer, and let’s all admit that it wasn’t just Patari’s music that we fell in love with; it was also the gorgeous burst of colours and symbols that really left us wanting more.Â Btw, Malik is also responsible for creating artwork for Patari’s Aslis album as well.
Further examining Malik’s work, we discovered her penchant for incorporating feminist messages and extremely empowering imagery for the women of Pakistan. She isn’t afraid of exploring the female strength and sexuality, and creates her thoughtful interpretations of womanhood in a visually appealing manner.
Check out Malik’s artwork for International Women’s day below and you can see more of her work here: Shehzil Malik’s art.
We first noticed artist Reem Khurshid when she designed a really beautiful and intelligent image for Herald Magazine’s February 2017 edition. Titled ‘Road to the future: Hopes and fears as China comes to Gwadar’, Khurshid magnificently created the Princess of Hope, found in Balochistan’s Hingol National Park, enveloped by a looming dragon.
Upon further investigation, we found Khurshid’s work to be very politically motivated. She regularly creates political cartoons that poke fun at the political absurditiesÂ of Pakistan, as well as making fun of President Donald Trump’s antics. However, even when she’s not drawing political cartoons, she’s creating provocative works of art that have a global language. The messages found in her work are relatable for anyone living in countries that are going through political upheavals, or for anyone who is even remotely concerned with what’s going on in the world today.
You can see the rest of Khurshid’s work here: Reem Khurshid Art.
Samya Arif has a lot of album artworks to her credit, the most famous being the psychedelic artwork she illustrated for indie band Sikandar Ka Mandar. Tollcrane, Forever South, Slowspin and Mekaal Hasan Band are just some of the names she’s worked with. It is Arif’s love for the psychedelics that has us intrigued. She’s brilliant at putting abstract imagery together and one always looks at her artwork with a lot of thought, as her work is extremely layered and multidimensional.
We even stumbled across a project Arif has worked on for Bytes For All, Pakistan, aÂ non-governmental organization which focuses onÂ defending digital security, online safety and privacy amongst other areas of interests. The online project was about developing equal online rights and freedom for women. Arif of course was responsible for creating the artwork for it. And her claim to fame, of course, is the taxi interior that was featured in Coldplay’s video, ‘Hymn for the Weekend’.