Once, Rezowan Pilow was very popular in the Rajshahi art scene but now he spends his time in Dhaka. He portrays lush greenery, tranquil nature and daily chores of common people. He did many commissioned works, especially portraits of seasoned personalities. He also focused on burning issues like fundamentalism, religious bigotry, political turmoil and economic crises. In his chequered career, the painter has used mediums like oil, acrylic and others. He has also done many water colours on a wide range of subjects.
Pilow’s father Khandakar Shahidullah was a high school teacher in Rajshahi. The late Khandakar also liked to draw and his drawings were really stunning and praiseworthy in terms of technique. He always encouraged his son to do sketches on different topics.
In around 2007 or 2008, Pilow arrived in Dhaka and started a new journey. He taught as an art teacher at different English medium schools in the city. In his career, he shifted to different jobs and presently he is the senior art teacher of Dhaka Cantonment Girls’ Public School and College. A number of his solo exhibitions have been held at different galleries in the capital and he has regularly participated at diverse group exhibitions. His subject ranges from socio-political and economic crises to personal conflicts, experiences, longings, joys, sorrows and various stages of individual life.
Rezowan Pilow began his career as a naturist painter. He has a passion for demonstrating the panoramic view, women busy with their daily chores, the magnificence of nature, riverine life, birds chirping and flying over the women, animals, cloudy skies, greenery with its rich abundance of colours as well as play of light, shade and calmness. He prefers to portray seasonal changes, women in tranquil atmosphere, serene landscapes, animals and green paddy fields in autumn. The subjects of his works are cast in a solemn mood and their characteristics are consistently highlighted. Lighting is a prominent feature in his paintings and the artist generally prefers incandescent light and mystifying settings.
Occasionally, Pilowuses a technique of his own, a kind of pointillism and textured background mixed together — and out of that the desired forms like sky, clouds, emerald foliage etc impulsively appear realistically. Pilowcreates all these with the use of dots, lines, tones and shades. It is also traceable that deep layers of colours provide a unique texture to these canvasesas they help to highlight the essence of different colours and what the colours really mean. Over the years, Pilow has developed this technique, which is very expensive and time consuming, requiring immense effort and devotion.
—The writer is an art critic and cultural curator.