In our self created worlds and imaginative urban geographies, there is no room for a pigeon perpetrating and invading our man made world where nature belongs behind our glass windows. They may seem like noisy, defecating nuisances to most of us, But these pigeons are a symbol of absolute purity and freedom to the genius of Jamil Naqsh.
Born in Kairana Uter Pardesh, he recalled his post partition ancestral residence to be a sanctuary and a celebration of nature. With huge windows which never used to be shut and would allow pigeons flying in and out creating their nests in the comfort of his home. After the partition Jamil Naqsh crossed roads with this familiar creature at the tomb of the legendary Empress; Nur Jahan. The pigeons have been an integral part of the artists work, however as we bade goodbye to the maestro, it is not only the art that we will miss, but an entire philosophy that was given to the world about love, longing and being grounded in your own roots before being known to the rest of the world.
With an artistic excellence that made Professor Shakir Ali snap his paint brush into two, saying he no longer needed to paint as he had a worthy successor, Jamil Naqsh has given Pakistan with an impeccable share of cubist, miniature, expressionism and calligraphic master pieces for generations of artists and painters to revere and learn from.
In his own words if he could describe his life and the decisions that shaped his journey towards being a successful artist;
‘The decision to wander across India and Pakistan at an early age
To study album painting
Not to obtain an art diploma
To join the studio of an advertising company
Not to settle in America when given the opportunity
To have artists, writers, musicians and poets as friends and a constant source of inspiration
All of whom continue to remain close.’
Well, you cant really sum up the illustrious life Naqsh had as an artist and as a legend, but in remembrance of a loss that would be felt immensely, what remains is a celebration and a legacy of his work and contributions to Art and Culture.