Written by Lariab Ahmad | Visual Artist, Entrepreneur, Writer, Curator, Mentor

On the project titled Solo 4 Art

Solo for Art is a crowd-sourced international project created and curated by Rashid Rana to produce artwork for Agha Khan Museum in Toronto; the work will weave numerous selfies from all over the world into a form that will archive humanity’s first virtual year.

A being is not only what they appear to be. While our anatomy is a defining factor of our personalities, our behaviour is composing various harmonies and it is a reflection of our experiences that manifest as we continue on our path. The artwork is fusing full figures rather than just portraits which are the general requirement of a Selfie; this makes the project interesting as a full figure will not only highlight the apparent identity of the individual but will also underline their energy, psychology, social life, culture, traditions, interests in politics, literature, and fashion hence, it can be said that the upcoming artwork will be a patchwork of sensational stories in their raw form. The inclusiveness and diversity will translate into a work of art that is global, rich, and in part, projecting spectrums of pop culture visible within societies around the world including their social constructs around the idea of gender, religion, lifestyle, and status.

The choice of yellow to denote this idea of an artwork that is representative of us as collective species is odd but makes all the sense if you dig deep in history. Yellow is a color that is cruel and novel; it is a sign of stars and there is nowhere to hide, you have to shine at your best. What is best for you? A color that expresses individuality, positivity and it highlights our battle scars – our proudest moments of failure that taught us invaluable lessons which make us who we are today.

Yellow has been a color of emperors in ancient China, it has adorned medieval icons and it has been an integral pigment for impressionists such as the famous sunflowers of Van Gogh and the boat in The Skiff by Renoir. Apelles used yellow ochre to paint the skin of Alexander the Great’s mistress whereas the color is concentrated with purity in Botticelli’s Primavera. Yellow has been beautiful and controversial.

Solo for Art is interesting for its time; it bridges innovation and experimentation while playing with a color that is essentially lonely; it is radiating with a history that is imbued with our desire to connect and seek happiness not only for ourselves but for each other. We are always on a search – to belong, now more so than ever.

If you are interested to be woven into this artwork along with other human beings:

  1. Take a selfie of yourself standing in front of the mirror, keep it full figure.
  2. Upload the post and send it as a direct message to Solo4art on Instagram, do not forget to tag them as well.
  3. You may also find a way to upload your image through Rashid Rana’s official website: // You can utilize the link in his bio on Instagram under the ID: rashidranastudio

February 24, 2021
Solo 4 Art, digitally-made, open-source, 2021