Mohamed (Mohd) Shakeel, "Untitled," 2004, oil on canvas, 40" x 60".
MOHAMED (MOHD) SHAKEEL
ALBERTA: Spring 2005, Banyan Tree Gallery, Edmonton
By Lee Bale
As you stroll through The Banyan Tree Gallery, amid wrought iron furniture and fragrant incense and candles, a rainbow of dyed textiles leads to the luminous Moorish-arched door and window paintings of Mohd Shakeel. A 1991 graduate of northern India’s Chadigharh University, Shakeel has carved out an impressive international reputation complete with awards and corporate commissions. Born in Moradabad, a town famous for brass craft, to a master woodcarver father and embroiderer mother, Shakeel was profoundly influenced by the images around him. A prolific student, he sold pictures of popular landscapes, monuments or dancing Ganeshas to support his family through difficult times. That led to enduring and deeply personal subject matter for his paintings: ephemeral doorways and archetypal images of Persian architecture constructed through painstakingly applied layers of vibrant oil glazes which are then quickly deconstructed with solvent. Gravity carries off the dissolved pigment into umber rivulets of erosion and memory, acknowledging a world in which the seemingly eternal is crumbling.
Represented by: Banyan Tree Gallery, Edmonton