Friday, February 10, 2012

Still Not Satisfied . . .

IAnD Exclusive
By Shriram Khadilkar

Landscape by Raiba
Veteran painter Abdul Aziz Raiba is ninety and still questing for the unfathomable through his artistic expression…

“I am not satisfied with the work that I have done so far,” says the nonagenarian; nonchalantly referring to his thirst for painting as a neonate’s yearning for milk.
Death of a Horse
It has been seventy long years since A. A. Raiba has been expressing himself through the medium of painting. Even today, he thirsts for it. Currently busy with reading the Quran and painting landscapes sitting in his studio, he is as responsive and energetic as any young artist waiting to embark on his artistic journey.

Raiba at work
Raiba learned Indian style of painting while studying in Sir. J. J. School of Art, Mumbai under the guidance of Jagannath Ji Ahivasi. After completing his art education, he was influenced by western trends in art. His close associates advised him to visit Europe, but he preferred to go to Kashmir. He stayed there for more than three years and accomplished a large body of work.    
Roti seller from Kashmir                 
He largely abided by the Indian style of painting. From Kashimiri women, to South Indian fisherwomen to Goan landscapes to village scapes in North India, Raiba was at one time called ‘harfan moula’ (Jack of all trades) because he was painting whatever came his way. The movie Jhansi ki Rani effected a canvas depicting a girl climbing on the trunk of an elephant. He painted a dying horse after witnessing the death of a camel. And then he also painted beautiful blind women who was selling rotis in Kashmir … He handled a variety of subjects through his canvases.    
After viewing Jhansi Ki Rani
Bold shapes, strong definite lines, beautiful shades of colours with a difference are the specialty of Raiba’s paintings.  The important thing is that he prepares his own canvases. Earlier, he used to prepare his own colours too.  He had a voracious appetite to view and assimilate works by other artists; a variety of styles and isms; yet he made a breakthrough and established his own style of painting. The series on ‘Old Bombay has been Raiba’s greatest contribution to the world of Indian Art. In this series, he has painted monumental structures of 18th century Mumbai. He did a lot of sketching for many years and painted using perspective in miniature style with shades like deep reds, umbers, and faded yellows. In the same style, he painted some locations in Bhasin village area too.  

Page from the sketch book "Old Bombay"                            
Raiba was also a member of Progressive Group, but moved away after a show in 1953. He never challenged anybody; except himself.  His close friend and confidant M. F. Husain once advised him to work as an artist in film production and urged Raiba to approach K. Asif when he was making Mughal- E- Azam. A disciplined Raiba could not bring himself to work in that ambiance. Here was a versatile artist who was blessed by the likes of Charles Gerard, Walter Laghammer and Rudy Von Layden, who were king makers of those days.  
Old Bombay by Raiba           
As compared with contemporaries of his time, Raiba is not a costly painter. One will very rarely see his paintings in an auction. He was never, and even today, he does not believe in running after money.  “Work with passion, money will follow you,” says Raiba. His fans are spread world over with collections of his paintings.      
Years ago, he operated from a 10 x 10 ft. home cum studio at Temkar Street in South Mumbai. Today, he stays in a high-rise apartment, which also houses his independent studio space in the whereabouts of Virar in suburban Mumbai.

Raiba at Work
With age as no limit, Raiba values his priceless creative journey. As he sits reading the Quran, the indefatigable artist in him is busy preparing to rework on the Kashmir series. Young in spirit and bubbling with energy, this veteran is a befitting inspiration for young and upcoming artists.            


  1. Abdul Aziz Raiba is I have observed thru his work is a great artist. I can say that he has acquired many techniques ans styles from many other artists and incorporated them into his own style and brush strokes including the composition.
    There is never a total satisfaction for an artist in his work, sure you may feel that is almost complete, and only you can define when the work doe bot need one more brush stroke.
    The process of creation is constantly developing even when we finish a painting, the work itself (the painting) in the process of drying is constantly changing until the colors mixed in their own transparencies. The satisfaction of the artist plays with the satisfaction of the observer in the quest for finding his relation with the art work he is observing.

    The more the observer knows about art the longer is the journey to understand and appreciate the quest of the artist to fill the cup of his satisfaction.

  2. Evaristo Paris De Andrade

    Evaristo Paris De Andrade was born in 1983. He is from "Côte d'Azur," "French Riviera," in Southern France.

    He is now a citizen of Toronto and belongs to the elitist group of Romantic and Conqueror artists. He is passionate about architecture, gastronomy and culture hence his love for travel which shaped him into a polyglot with French, English, Portuguese and Spanish skills. His vision of art is infused with the words "passion" and "love", as witnessed by the set of paintings he realized in 2000 : "inspirations of an evening" on the theme of love and brotherhood.

    His interest in art began in 1991 at Bourron-Marlotte, a small town near Fontainebleau in France. Inspiration sprang from this unique environment: an unusual town, the castles and of course the magnificent Fontainebleau Forest. Bourron-Marlotte is a town rich in history and culture, having hosted well known artists and authors the likes of Paul Cezanne, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Eugène Ciceri, Jean-baptiste Corot, Auguste Allongé, Emile Zola, Alfred de Musset, George Sand, Henry Murger, Frederic Bazille and Camille Pissaro, who together with Vincent Van Gogh represent the crème de la crème of art in the eyes of Evaristo.

    In 1998 Evaristo returned to his roots in the Var region, which he likes to call his "belle Provence". A gentle way of life paced by the Mediterranean sea and aromas from distinctive flora under blue skies.... in an old medieval village clinging to the rocky hills, his passion was renewed in the flamingos, storks, mules and butterflies, the volcanic rock, lavender, rosemary and delights of the Mediterranean cuisine. Enough to make anyone dream, and above all inspire an artist!

    Finally, Toronto in 2007: good fortune, a departure, a change of style... a transformation in his life... in the way he paints, the way he creates, and of course the way he loves.... where his splendid childhood memories and his ever-present love fuse into a unique artistic creativity based on an intense mix of colors and the power of shapes, typography and words.

    You will discover a language in the rare and dynamic art of this talented young artist.

    Biography by Alliocha T. , reporter and photographer
    Posted by Evaristo Paris De Andrade on linkedin Group: Art Collecting Network.

  3. Of course,our veteran masters are not known to retire easily from their passions.Great information about a great person.Thank you.


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