How The Pursuit Of Perfection Inspired Zoobs’ Art

April 30, 2023
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The art of Zubair Ansari, more commonly known as Zoobs, is often separated into two very distinct eras.

The first, characterised by pieces such as Dream Lover and I Dream Of Madonna, is focused heavily on the pursuit of perfection in modern society and the effects it has on people and society at large.

The second is far more personal and is focused on telling his own story and the complex relationship between people, parental relationships and the dichotomy of life and death.

Many art critics will naturally split these two phases fairly cleanly, as if the mission of his work up until 2007 is different from the works he has completed from that point on, but few parts of life are that clearly delineated, least of all a man’s artistic muse.

The chase for the perfect inspired Zoobs’ first wave of art and the focus on death and the relationship between a parent and their child both come from the same tragic origin point.

Before he was Zoobs, he was Zubair Ansari, born in Chelsea in 1972 as the youngest of two sons, but all too quickly the familial bliss was shattered by the tragic and early loss of his father.

The early loss of a parental figure can greatly impact a young child searching for their identity, particularly in the 1970s, and this struggle can intensify when shortly after this his mother took him and his brother to Islamabad, Pakistan.

The attempts to assimilate his Indian father, his British passport and his home in Pakistan in the 1980s had a profound effect on him, causing him to seek solace in the comforting artifice of an era of popular culture that was all about artifice.

This helped him to develop his concept of posterisation, ultimately finding an affinity with the legendary pop artist Andy Warhol that shaped his later more personal works.

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