Shopain: With brush and colours, Shabir Ahmad Najar has been embellishing the bare walls of south Kashmir’s Shopian town with graffiti and murals for past several weeks as part of the district administration’s beautification drive.
Najar, 42, who has earned the moniker ‘The Colour Player’ has elicited praise from one and all in the town for his impeccable artwork.
“His paintings evoke a strange feeling and have a magnetic appeal,” said Aijaz Ahmad, a local.
Najar has so far created graffiti and murals on more or less a dozen walls in the town as part of the Municipal Committee Shopain’s (MCS) beautification drive.
“These exquisite images and graffti make you stop at least for a moment,” said Nasir Amin Allaqaband pointing towards a shade painting on a wall.
Najar, a resident of Dangerpora Pulwama, is a self-taught mural and graffiti artist.
He quit studies in 10th class and began drawing pictures first on the paper and then on street walls.
“Since my childhood, I had a strange penchant for colours,” he said giving some finishing touches to a mural painted on a huge wall opposite Government Boys Higher Secondary School.
Najar said that he had worked on numerous walls and signboards over the past many years across Kashmir.
“You will find my paintings in almost every district of the Valley,” said Najar.
Besides working on the street walls, he also paints 3D pictures on walls of classrooms meant for kindergarten children.
“I create the pictures of animals, rivers, toys and many such other objects on these walls,” Najar said.
However, he said that over the last few years, he was struggling to make ends meet due to the consecutive lockdowns.
“Last year I did not work at all and this year I was without work for at least three months,” Najar said.
According to him, the artwork has suffered significantly due to the long drawn out Covid-induced lockdowns.
“People spend on art and hire artists only when they have surplus money,” Najar said.