He lives in the thriving city of Mumbai but most of the time he dwells in a different world– acrazy cosmos of light and shadows,of life full of still images,of subliminal beauty and dazzling glamor,of strange forms and baroque shapes.
I ask him, “Who are you in the true sense?”
The man behind the camera gives an enigmatic Cheshire Cattish smile while being interviewed by IRIS ART MAGAZINE, and proclaimed: “I am nothing and, as you know, Everything comes out of Nothing.”
Rafique Sayed has a philosophy of the art of light that is so immensely simple that it catches the viewerby surprise. The colors of the spectra of various changing sources of light — the hot sun, the cool moon, the dim and the bright stars change with each passing moment. They are always in a flux. They have to be handled delicately for a master photographer. Besides, there is avast variety of photographic lamps that are used in model and product photography.
But he says this about the light intensity and immenseness, “When taking an image, just keep the light simple for simplicity is the most difficult thing to express through anyform of art.”
“But what is your own chief source of inspiration?” I poke him.
He grins mysteriously, “I muse about the Universe.”
His response leaves me puzzled. I take another step forward, “That is an immense subject. My question was about your source of strength. What art training you have received?And who have been your mentorsin the art journey?”
His enigmatic smile deepens further,
“I have had no training. Frankly. None at all. I have always been fond of reading books and I have learned everything from what I read. Yes, I got attracted to photography and I got inspired from the American photographers Brett Weston, Richard Avedon, and Irving Penn, and the Indian photographers S. Paul, Raghubir Singh. I also got inspiration from the poets Kahlil Gibran, Jalal el-Din Rumi, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ahmed Faraz and Pablo Neruda who gave me insight.”
His favorite genre and style in art is portrait and fashion as well as landscape photography. He has taken lots and lots of photographs under myriad light conditions but he claims to have “not taken my best shot yet. I may not take my best shot till my dying moment.You learn till you breatheyou last. I am changing all the time.In the next moment, Iwould not recall even the moment Ihave lived in now. I am changing every moment.This change is constant.Every morning is a new morning.You don’t see the same sun again.”
He says, “My perception of life changes through the experiences and understandings.I try to live a very meditative life.Less is more to me than more is less.”
How he thinks the art world is treating him, I ask. He says somberly, “The art world is going to treat me the way I am going to treat my work.Ithink I am too ruthless about my work.”
He has been always lucky to have gathered appreciation and gratitude of the viewers and critics in his fairs and exhibitions.”
He thinks, “Like painting, we should concentrate on selling photo art.It is very popular in the western world of art.We should popularize in Asia Pacific for a start.”
His artist statement is “We don’t create, we discover.”
His personal message to art enthusiasts worldwide is, “Find new eyes! Pictures happen every moment.Increase your awareness.”
Rafique is a very private person and does not want to talk at all about his personal life. But he says about his earliest phase of life as a photographer that he didn’t struggle much.“God has been kind to me,” he added. His foremost ambition in life is “to be a good human being.”— Khalid Rahman