The Interview Panel


‘The Interview Panel’ is a typical example of the works of Alexander Gorlizki and Riyaz Uddin; quirky and humorous. Here, the artists have worked over an unidentified painted photograph in miniature style. They toy with and expand the ideas of painted photography and miniature art. The compositions, colours and intricate patterns drawn on these family portraits bring alive the static studio image and liberate the subjects from the stoic stillness they had to maintain during studio photographs. The pop colours used to detail the photograph have brought to light the potential of miniature art as a tool for satire and as Pop art. This is clearly seen here, through several whimsical-satirical elements in this painting – an angelic figure painted above all others, the subject on the far left being depicted with horn headgear, a fly whisk holder inside a boot, a random fish on the bottom left etc.

Gorlizki says that he plays with portraits to this extent so that they become narrative works. The family portrait evolves from a memory to a story, and because the story is open to interpretation, it creates stories in multitude. British-born artist Alexander Gorlizki creates his own dream world with miniature master artist Riyaz Uddin.

Together they paint over family portraits, borrowing from the tradition of painted photography, an art form prevalent in India during the 20th century. Miniature artists were requested to colour in the black and white photographs taken at the time. Gorlizki brings in the ideas, drawing the composition of the painting, indicating where and how he wants his subjects in the photograph, and Uddin is the skilled hand that paints this composition using his jewel-coloured pigments with unbelievable intricacy. Gorlizki and Uddin work on each piece simultaneously by sending it back and forth for modifications, the process sometimes taking a year to be completed. Gorlizki completed his formal Fine Art education at Bristol Polytechnic, followed by an MFA in Sculpture from the Slade School in London. He currently lives and works in New York City. Heavily inspired by Indian miniature paintings and traditional Indian Mughal folios, he has reinterpreted these traditional art forms to create his own visual language. In the mid-1990’s Gorlizki decided to open up a studio in Jaipur, which is also when he began his collaboration with Uddin.

The Interview PanelThe Interview Panel, 2019, Alexander Gorlizki with Riyaz Uddin, Sarmaya Arts Foundation
Alexander Gorlizki with Riyaz Uddin
Pigment and Gold on handmade canvas
H: 17.5 cm x W: 27.5 cm
Accession No.