On my way to Wonderland – 3D paintings by Obaid Ur Rahman

The Karachi-based artist attempts to create a world of wonders waiting to be explored by the viewer

Nadia Faisal

Drawn on the walls and floor of the gallery is a unique and somewhat localised take on a genre of street art which is often known as 3D chalk art. A blend of Rajasthani miniature, tradition trick art and truck art, these artworks by Obaid ur Rehman are experimental and unlike any other ever seen in the local galleries.

A pioneer of sorts, the 25-year-old muralist using chalk has effectively created a 3D view out of his 2d paintings. Realistic and at the same time captivating once you get the angle correct, each composition in the series with its bizarre fantastic elements like that of a dream without ever making sense is both fun and adventurous and is ultimately what you make of it.

Through his incredibly bold colours and imagery, the Karachi-based artist attempts to create a world of wonders waiting to be explored by the viewer. The broad appeal of his experimental series currently on display is similar to that of the Iconic Alice and her timeless tale where she wanders through Wonderland's garden meeting people and creatures.

True to its title of ‘On My way to Wonderland’, the self-taught artist says he has deliberately used bold colours and images to paint his scenarios. The aim is to create such an interactive experience for the viewer that is almost unreal in nature and fantasy like adds Rehman who has been practising his craft as a 3D artist for over three years in order to acquire a distinctive style that he can call his own.

Being the first artist of his genre to represent Pakistan internationally as he participated in the 6th International Street Art Festival in Wilhelmshaven, Germany last year, Rehman as the pioneer of anamorphic/3D murals in Pakistan says although gaining immense popularity abroad the art form is relatively unknown locally.

Often drawn with chalk on the street, the 2-dimensional artworks are painted in a way that gives you a 3-dimensional optical illusion from a certain perspective explains the 3D artist who is thrilled to be given the opportunity to promote it by creating a three-dimensional experience with his 2D artwork within the gallery space.

Experimental in nature and offering a unique experience to the viewers, Obaid Ur Rahman’s solo show remains open at Sanat Gallery till July 6th.