Jameel Ahmed

by Unicorn Gallery

JAMEEL AHMED also known Jhuggi wala was a self taught artist found in a slum in Karachi. While the date of his birth is unknown Jameel later moved and later died in East Pakistan present day Bangladesh in 1982. Jameel jhuggiwala was known for his landscape paintings of Punjab and East Pakistan as well as his cityscape and sea paintings of Karachi and abstract drawings. Only a handful of old collectors and families have his work, rarely do his paintings or drawings come in for resale.

Book: ‘Painters of Pakistan’ by S.Amjad Ali, chapter Landscape painters
It was in June, 1960 that Jameel hit the headlines. The papers were full of stories of the new artist discovered in the slums of Karachi. Some good-hearted people helped him with painting material so that he did not have to draw with charcoal taken from the hearth on which his meals were cooked, or to paint with juices pressed from leaves and flowers…

Jameel’s love of nature took him to Bengal (then East Pakistan where he wandered in the Sunderbans. He was enamored of the long thin curved boats that looked like the crescent moon and which were seen on all the rivers and lakes of the region. He painted this subject on many canvases and the massing of these crescent shapes gave a marked design quality to the picture….
Jameel had to bear serious hardships and a grave tragedy towards the end of his life. He did not live long enough to benefit by the boom that took place in the art world of Karachi in the mid-eighties, otherwise the propitious circumstances could have led to much greater development of his art. He died in the early 80s and no one has yet filled the void he left in Karachi of a dedicated painter of landscapes in oils.

Book: ‘Image and Identity’ by Akbar Naqvi, chapter Karachi Artists,

….Another painter who made quite a stir was the self-taught landscape painter, Jamil Jhuggiwala, who came from Karachi’s jhuggi, or refugee settlement of ramshackle huts. He has developed his own style of drip-and-dribble a la Jackson Pollock under instruction from a visiting American artist who was also said to be the muse of Gulgee.

Title: Untitled landscape

Medium: Oil on canvas