Untitled  I  300 x 380 cm  I  Acrylic on canvas  I  Aatifi  I  2014


Mysterious, unusual shapes and curves characterize the work by Aatifi. Beginning to study painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Kabul in 1989, Aatifi already gained reputation when he was awarded the first prize for calligraphy and composition by the Afghan ministry of culture. The prize which honoured his unusual exposure with calligraphy was awarded to him again the following year. From childhood onwards, he had learnt the trade of calligraphy and developed over the years a completely new simplicity of iconography out of the traditional abundance of the oriental art of writing.

Aatifi, who today lives and works in Bielefeld in East-Westphalia, takes up subjects rooted in the art of calligraphy. He uses stylistic devices of modern art as well as borrowings from the oriental art of writing. Even during his time in Kabul, his pictures did no longer correspond to the definition of classic calligraphy. Nowadays, his works consist of fragmented characters whose alignments are meaningless in their simplicity. His compositions exclusively deal with the interaction of design and aesthetics, of energy and dynamic, of depth and space. Therefore, his works unfold to a universal effect – they evoke a free interpretation and timeless modernity. In his graphic works, Aatifi focuses on the complex technique of aquatint-lift ground which comes as close as possible to his pictoral style. With the help of his partly over-sized copper printing plates he creates filigree and powerful works on paper of high contrast and expressiveness.

       Deduktion XIII  I  130 x 140 cm  I  Acrylic on canvas  I  Aatifi  I  2011