“Nobody Can Paint An Original Work Of Art. Create Art That Does Not Need Any Audience.”
To most people in the art world, Iqbal Geoffrey (1939-2021) was a prankster. The arc of his work is often characterized as a shift from conceptualism to formalism. The machismo-laden history of modern art that has been handed down to us has largely failed to account for self-taught artists with formal concerns, but Geoffrey continuously short-circuited our reliance on such categories to understand our perception while redefining it.
Born in Salarwala in Chiniot and trained as a Bar-at-Law with a career-long practice on Turner Road, Lahore, Iqbal Geoffrey’s process of production, appropriation, and visual interpretation is a testament to his ability for visual and cultural acuity. Is it really possible to evaluate his practice and legacy without reference to the coterie of collectors and followers who played such an instrumental role in propelling him and his art to the status of the immortalized commodity?
In probably his last interview below, Iqbal Geoffrey (who passed away recently) takes us on a journey through his life, with acerbic wit and sardonic humor. Excerpts:
By Aasim Akhtar