Signed and dated 'Souza 93' (upper left)
Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Closely attuned with sociopolitical and scientific developments, F.N. Souza was deeply affected by the wars from yesteryears and was profoundly agitated over issues facing humanity, especially the development of nuclear weapons. This preoccupation was translated in his works where he would frequently portray the subject resulting in portrait studies of 'mutant' heads where he depicted images of man after a nuclear war. These studies, bizarre in concept, became more grotesque and increasingly distorted as the artist felt civilisation drawing closer to its destruction.
Aptly titled 'Cosmic Head', the current lot is depicted liberally with facial features, using numerous eye-like holes and trunk-like noses placed haphazardly within the face making the creature look more like an extraterrestrial being than actual man. But while the subject hardly resemble a human being, Souza incorporated anthropomorphic characteristic to insinuate mutation. This ability to disorganise and distort the human face without resorting to total abstraction or losing a vital aspect of the portraiture demonstrates Souza's masterly skill as a draughtsman and his highly distinctive style. By consciously abandoning naturalism, Souza liberated himself from objective representation and imbues his works rife with social commentary and criticism.