Manzur Kargar was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. He studied painting at the University of Fine Arts (HBK) Braunschweig and from at the University of Fine Arts (UDK) Berlin. He has lived and worked in Berlin since 1992 with periodical stays in Los Angeles and New York. In addition to being a painter, he is also a musician and composer, currently playing in the Berlin music project ARTISTS ON HORSES.
In his early works, Kargar focused primarily on early classical art, looking all the way back Hellenistic Greece. But in the last decade, he has focused on reproducing mass media images of contemporary advertising through painting. His inspiration comes from glossy magazines, television and the Internet. The artistic exploration of “advanced” civilizations is central to his work. No matter which era inspires Kargar, he depicts the human figure as shaped by its time.
“I’m not looking for the truth; I’m looking for splendid appearances.”
Manzur Kargar sees the world as it is currently presented in the media – sugarcoated, unreal, dramatic, seductive, frightening, bizarre and glamorous- as our ubiquitous reality. In this world he finds an endless resource of images he can use for his paintings. Based on images he “finds“ in the Internet, he composes objects, scenes or graphic elements in the form of digital collages, which then serve as master illustrations for his paintings on large canvasses. He uses motifs with which we are all familiar, pulls them out of their contexts and puts them into new ones. This creates a sensation of irritation. The viewer can hardly resist the attraction of his hyper-realistic work, painted with elaborate technique in numerous layers.
With the combination of digital and classic art, Kargar’s paintings mark the span of painting from the originated emotional base into the inevitable digital age.
Although born in Afghanistan, artist Manzur Kargar was raised in West Berlin. He studied Fine Art and Painting in Braunschweig at one of the most prestigious universities for painting in Germany. His early career focused on epic paintings from mythological times of gods and goddesses amongst the architecture and environments of antiquity. This body carried him to success until his obsessions took him elsewhere. Having thoroughly explored the ancient cultural paradigms he turned his eye towards the icons of today’s society. Inspired by the images we confront daily within the media and advertising, he began to compose new bold, sexy, and passionate paintings showcasing the new mythological creatures of today. Polished and striking women, yet vulnerable and wanting, float upon his canvas like movie actresses and models, surrounded by the decorations of our projected ideals. In the piece “Flowers” delicate lavender blooms, candy pink outlines, and geometric shapes place the female in a sea of perfection while hinting at our modern day blending of art with design. In the piece “Eyelashes” we see the lush black fringes beckoning from the canvas, placed on a pedestal giving this isolated body part its spotlight within a powerful context of what we desire.Read More