“Lucid Dreams” – the current series of mural painting by Karachi-based artist S.M. Raza,Â represents a new approach to an old tradition of socially engaged art. Inspired by the passionateÂ efforts of Vincent Van Gogh, Diego Rivera and other great artists to locate the lives of poorÂ people in paintings, Raza portrays a variety of under-privileged street children struggling toÂ meet the basic needs of food, clothing, education, and a place to sleep. But in his murals, theÂ purpose is not to shock the collective conscience, or to inspire a visionary uprising, or even toÂ disturb the viewers with stark realities. Instead, Raza shines a light on imagined interior lives ofÂ fantasy. After all, is there not an inevitable correlation between poverty and creativity, betweenÂ making ends meet — or making the unbearable bearable — and making art? – Russell A.Smith
(Russell Smith is a USA based writer and praciting lawyer, a Founder and CEO at ConvergentÂ media and partner at Smith Dehn LLP).