“Only my master knows what my master is thinking”: spoke the servant of Simon Bolivar, the liberator of South America, in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel The General in His Labyrinth. Likewise, only an artist knows what he is thinking, in spite of interpretations and over interpretations by theorists, critics, historians and academics. All those who try to explain, fix meaning and find context into an artist’s practice. Often stumbling upon confusion and contradiction. Thus it is not surprizing that an art work, once created remains unchanged, but comments and commentary on it keep on shifting, transformed, revised and sometimes discarded totally.
In order to comprehend an art work, perhaps it is essential to understand its maker. But not necessarily this helps in all circumstances, because sometimes an artist also discovers the essence of his work with the passage of time. Creative process involves cognitive side, but it also engages a number of other faculties, which usually surface when the work is produced or viewed after the gap of a few years.
However in order to know the creative process it is needed to approach the artist. On many occasions, artists while discussing their work, its genesis, ideas, technique etc., discover a new aspect into what they made. They also express what is not visible, but important for fabricating their artworks. Because, like a person who dreams and have the complete command of his experience – a creative individual also possesses an insight that cannot be accessed by an outsider.
Art Now Pakistan, has tried to access it, by engaging in meaningful, intensive and extensive dialogues with artists. The theme of current issue ‘Inside an Artist’s Mind’ is a means to share artists’ thoughts, processes, and concepts in the makers’ own words. Because it is not only the message, but medium is also important. Reading interviews of artists discussing their past, present and future plans, their work habits, source of imagery, inspirations, influences and their reflections on world around them, will provide a new way of seeing their art, however not the ultimate one, because we believe that as an art work unfolds in time, likewise the account of an artist reveals new content on further and future readings.
This is the first step towards initial contact with the artists included in our current issue, and one hopes that this would lead to many more meetings, in words, in reality and in imagination.