Artsy Art

I discovered the work of Pakistani painter Ismail Guglee while researching my novel and fell instantly in love with his abstract calligraphy, which has been described by Eric Gibson, Executive Director of Art News, as an attempt to "fuse two traditions, Islamic calligraphy, in which writing carries both a religious text and decorates a page, and the Western style of Abstract Expressionism, with its movemented brushstrokes."

The result is breathtaking.

Gulgee described the process of creating art in a way that perhaps writers will recognize as well:

"...I live only when I paint.  The rest is but a wait, a preparation mixed with prayer for crossing the threshold-form life into the experience of life."

Allah, Oil on silver leaf and canvas
In 2007, at the age of 81, Ismail Gulgee was murdered in his home in Pakistan along with his wife and his maid.  I only learned about Gulgee after his death, but I mourned him then, two years after he'd been gone, as though the loss were somehow personal. 

And I suppose, for any enthusiastic admirer of his work, it was.

He is survived by his son, Amin Gulgee, who is a sculptor in Pakistan.