Have you ever felt like the universe is telling you to do something? Have you ever had that feeling in your gut? Well, five years ago, an artist had a feeling almost like a calling that led him to begin painting.
As his ice hockey idol, Wayne Gretzky, once said, “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.” At the age of 45 and with no formal art training, Malikshah Muradally decided to take his shot and jumped into the world of art.
On an April Sunday at the Ismaili Jamatkhana, Plano, Malikshah shared 28 pieces of his art with exhibit attendees. He spoke about how he found painting to be a lonely and sometimes grueling process, and where at any given time, he could carry up to twenty different painting ideas in his mind, all waiting to flow onto his canvas. But despite the process, the finished canvas was a form of release that allowed him to tell his journey.
Malikshah’s artistic expression focuses primarily on a combination of abstract and calligraphy using acrylic paint, mixed media and fluid pouring techniques. His art is often a reflection of the hardest questions in life – why? Why is there suffering in the world? Why are we here on Earth?
Art is meant to explore the connection between the spiritual and physical worlds, challenging oneself to look intellectually inward to find the answers to those important questions. As Mawlana Hazar Imam said in an interview with Expresso Magazine on 21 July 2018, “It is a religion of the brain, a religion of the mind. It is not just a religion of the soul. It is a faith of reason.”
Malikshah describes his philosophy as Antevasin Art. Antevasin is a Sanskrit word meaning someone who lives on the border of two worlds (physical and transcendental). As he describes it, his art is a visual representation of the spiritual side, exploring the duality of existence and exploring areas such as free will, karma, after (before) life, and the Source (God) perspective.
Ultimately, painting is seen as an expression of human creativity, but for Malikshah it is a medium to challenge the individual to explore life’s existential questions.
Malikshah's art has also been exhibited at Greenhill School in Dallas, and he is planning exhibitions later this year in London, UK. His other hobbies include golf, tennis and writing, while encouraging another budding artist - his three-year-old daughter, Nureya, who also enjoys painting.
When not busy in his studio, Malikshah works for the Grants and Review Board at the Department of Jamati Institutions as a Senior Budget and Audit Manager.
Malikshah’s portfolio, reflections on creation, and artist statement can be viewed at www.malikshah.com.