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.