In the eye of the beholder -New Sunday Times

Check out how 11 artists interpret the concept of beauty in the Beautiful People art exhibition, writes Meera Murugesan

In a quaint double-storey house in Subang Jaya, there is a gathering of “beaautiful people” and some of the most unlikely candidates have made the list. Core Design Gallery’s latest exhibition, Beautiful people, takes an innovative approach to interpreting beauty with striking artworks paying homage to individuals who are not necessarily picture perfect.

“For most of us, beauty means a flawless face and figure but it is intersting to see how artists, with their creative minds, perceive beauty,” says Scarlette Lee, curator of the exhibition. The artworks, displayed in a beautifully renovated house turned art gallery, raise thought-provoking questions on what constitutes beauty. Adding to its appeal is the fact that the participating artists speacialize in diverse media, ranging from abstract and realism to watercolor and oil.

For Raja Lope Rasydi Raja Roslan, one of the artists, beauty comes from a strong person who is completely comfortable in his skin or whose very presence sparks interest. As a result, he chose the flamboyant Lady Gaga, imaginative director Tim Burton and Batman’s attention grabbing nemesis, The Joker, as his inspirations for beauty. His caricatural work on Lady Gaga is a comical rendition of the over-the-top personality standing on the head of Madonna, a play on the supposed rivalry between the two stars, while the piece on Burton, also a caricature, captures the director amid his brilliat visions which have led to many great movies. The portraiture on the Joker called Pop the Balloon Anyone? also draws the eye with its skillful techniue and vibrant use of color. They are full of colour and life and never boring and that by itself is enchanting and beautiful,” says Raja Lope.

For Ali Nurazmal, the creative mind is a thing of beauty , more so when that creativity leads to great things. For this reason, he chose to portray the legendary Alfred Hitchcock in his mixed media work on paper. Ali’s work on Hitchcock, titled Medicine Seller 3- Extraordinary, which is part of a series, captures the man dubbed the ‘master of suspense’ in an almost satirical manner with a party hat on his head and a wistful expression on his face.

Other notable works include a striking piece by Norhisyam Asmawi called Show Me the Right Path, which depicts the purity and innocence that are also sometimes associated with beauty. Zulkefli Talha, who has a background in abstract painting, chose to portray Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir in his acrylic on canvas work. He chose Marina as a subject of beauty because her work as a social activist has helped improve many lives in the country. Similarly, Arif Fauzan chose to paint John Lennon, whose life and music influenced many and whose legacy lives on in the hearts of his fans.

Beautiful People runs from Dec 5-22 at Core Design Gallery, Subang Jaya and from Dec 25-Jan 25 at Studio at Straits in George Town, penang. Admission is free.


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