Realism is largely believed to have commenced modern art. Plainly, this is due to its opinion that daily chores and living surrounding ambience are suitable subjects for art. Realism concentrates on the progressive aims of modernism, questing for novel truths through the reassessment and debunking of traditional systems of values and beliefs. Realism concerned itself with how life was planned socially, economically, politically, and culturally in the mid-nineteenth century. This led to unyielding, sometimes terrible and awful portrayals of life's distasteful moments and many more. Realism was the first openly anti-institutional, non-conformist art movement. Sayedur Rahman is one of the earnest followers of realism in our country and his thinking process and belief engulfed the genre of art. It has been deeply observed his capability to draw mass and their unending struggle, deep pain, surrounding dimension, textural malleability and he constructs sensitive compositions, which are really remarkable. His paintings are fresh, strongly built (in the sense of density of colours) and provide the spectators a sense of pleasure.

A socially conscious artist, Sayedur Rahman paints people, capturing the diverse moments of their social bindings. He uses loose brushstrokes to delineate the various elements in his compositions, in which the subjects provide movement and colour, living scenes in which light and the atmosphere create a mysterious effect. Needless to say that he is a devoted and skilled painter who has done many outstanding paintings, and drawings in different periods with varied mediums and themes. Famed for his reserved and soft-spoken nature he lives the life of a recluse-- away from the crowd and noise that accompany prominence, which he never hankered after.

I have closely observed the painter's working processes and techniques. When he gets immersed with his paintings, he completely loses himself. He applies colours and creates figures, and images in his own way. He puts layers upon layers of paint and draws details continuously until he feels that he has achieved what he has been striving for. Most of the time, the outcome is pensive, distinctive, precisely balanced and the arrangement of colours and space does not fail to draw an art enthusiast's eyes.

When I first saw Rahman's paintings about a decade ago, I was very much fascinated by his figural compositions and their proper articulations on canvas. He had truly engrossed himself with his themes. Over the years, the artist has been intensely documenting nature's picturesque beauty as well as alluring women in all their curvaceous beauty, he also portrays women of his surroundings. His work expresses the aesthetic beauty of our women and their varied moods. The artist has splendidly rendered attractive women in all their curvilinear beauty and he has been enthusiastically studying the movements of figures (female) and arrangements of compositions for a long time.

At different phases of his career, Sayedur has also portrayed elegant women in all their shapely grandeur. His ponderings on portraits, especially men and women, involve a vast range of themes from reality to fantasy, imagination to imperfection. Sometimes the artist delves deep into a psychological voyage through his surrounding characters. The artist borrows some characters of his portraits from fiction and sometimes from his imaginative world. Sometimes, Sayedur portrays characters, which have no existence in the real world, play in his subconscious mind, and through which one gets a touch of surrealism. He paints figures and portraits from different perspectives and with varied modes of expression. Sensual figures, figures in a contemplative mood, figures in close proximity as well as their affections, longings, yearnings, conflicts and movements are noticeable in his works. Sayedur brings in romanticism to his portraits as well. He tries to synchronise colours, textures and formation of visages. His colours are often brightened and sometimes subdued to translate the significance of the characters in his portrait works. Then there are times when the shades appear dreamy and romantic. The artist has used charcoal, pastel, pencil, watercolour, acrylic and oil on paper and canvas.

Blossoming and budding flowers as well as trees are recurring features in Sayedur's paintings. He infrequently dealt with the seasonal flowers in the country. He occasionally likes to experiment with diverse vague and plain forms, and enjoys breaking and constructing them in many ways. His very picturesque and appealing natural observation is profoundly embedded in his psyche and his paintings are created spontaneously with his skilled hands brushing colours in the easels. The painter uses close-up views of the branches of trees containing patches of flowers of different colours and then changes the work by splashing colour pigments.

The writer is an art critic and cultural curator.

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