The technological advancements in aviation of the 20th century were accompanied by ideological clashes and geopolitical revolutions that shaped the world as it is today. In the process of meticulously reconstructing a MiG-21 Interceptor from every day materials, high-speed flight becomes subject, object, and concept.
Asif Farooq is a conceptual artist working out of Miami, Florida.
Contemporary art, quite often does not provide any definitives. Asif Farooq, as an artist, is best understood when looking at his entire body of work. At first glance, one may see familiar representational objects. Taken as a whole, the body of work obviates a rigid and ready analysis. With these things, he strives to open discussions about a wide range of subjects (that still speak a concise language) not usually placed together. His methodology–and ultimately his results– require engineering to perform set tasks. Their contrivance and execution often speak to ideas of impermanance, verisimilitude, and– somewhat inadvertantly–the outsourcing of our lives to a glowing screen.
Asif’s practice includes using a wide variety of materials implemented with great facility. He believes in striving for the highest standards of craftsmanship and staying true to the materials and subjects. For a few years now, he has worked with paper. In the past, he has worked as a metal fabricator, electronic engineer, neon sign craftsman, and teacher.
The materials he uses and the message are quite often interchangeable. Currently employed making a full scale Soviet fighter, Asif chose paper to impart a sense of it’s fragility. Both in the sense that it is impermanant, and also, to represent it’s ephemeral nature in cold war era politics.
By choosing representational subjects, quite often, it is important to note the absurdity of the choices and more what they say about humankind than the fact that they exist. In fact, subjects such as satellites, particle accelerators, or planes are just commonplace implements used by every nationality just the way that silverware or chairs are.
Most of the ideas he is mining come directly from his childhood. Growing up during the cold war, being interested in aviation, and wanting to understand the composition of the world around him are all concepts dating from his earliest experiences. Mr. Farooq finds that these very pedestrian ideas and concepts are the things that art is made of.