Saud Rahman is a freelance graphic designer, concept artist, novice photographer, food blogger and poet, based in Chennai and raised in Kuwait. With the initiative to make his audience ‘feel something within’, Saud maintains his other identity as Poetry Machine on Instagram, where he showcases his creations which take inspiration from his experiences and subjects that matter to him, like mental health and cultural interactions. Check out Saud‘s first Dysco Diary here and connect with him via Dysco.
“Artists are shameless with their experiences; they exploit them”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
I started making art at the age of 13 after a…significant experience. It started pretty naturally at first. I read about Photoshop from somewhere on the internet and it naturally piqued my adolescent interest. A few pages of Google later, I understood what it was and what it can do.
For my Dysco Diary, I am focusing on telling you about my inspirations, my thought process, my message and finally why I make art.
Music plays a pivotal role in my art; both have a symbiotic relationship with one another in my life. When I listen to a song, I can see myself living the life portrayed in the song. Even if it’s only for 4 mins and 44 secs. And it’s always served a huge role in my life. I listen to music when I create my art, when I’m relaxing, when I’m angry, basically wherever and whenever that I can.
Because music paints such vivid images in my head, I feel like it’s my responsibility to paint one for you, the people looking at my art.
I have done some paid work for my art here and there. I’m constantly on the lookout for an opportunity to work and collaborate. Poetry Machine is somewhere between my passion and my work. It’s a huge part of my life. It’s catharsis on a computer screen. As mused by Frank Ocean;
“I’m making 400, 600, 800K momma
To stand on my feet momma
Play these songs, it’s therapy momma
I should be paying them”
The story behind Poetry Machine?
When I was in High School, I used to write a lot of Poetry and share it with my friends. All of whom insisted that I put it up somewhere, to publish. So, initially I decided to post it on Facebook, and let a wider array of people see my work. I got a quite good response, they loved it, and they told me to aim even higher, for a book or a magazine job. I decided to take my art to Instagram. The name was decided upon, with my girlfriend at the time, and me were talking about the whole thing, and I was telling her about how I couldn’t decide on a name, to which she said, “I don’t know, you are just a Poetry Writing Machine!” and the rest, is as they say, history.
I hope you enjoy my art and my thought behind it, I’ll be sharing two of my favourite pieces.
This piece is a personal favourite of mine. It is titled “Racism” and draws its textual content from the quote by Kanye West in an Interview with Zane Lowe in 2013 where he was asked about his vision and the challenges he was facing at the time, trying to break into the Fashion Industry.
The interview of Kanye West speaking with Zane Lowe on BBC goes on for about an hour or so and there is a lot to think about in there; the role of the celebrities, the hostility he faced, the direction his music is taking, and more. The line that struck me is “Classism is the new Racism”. Which is where the textual content comes from. And when you think about it, it’s true. We aren’t as discriminated against on anything as much as Wealth, Social Status, and Possessions. Perhaps that’s why Social Media is so successful; we all have the desire to how much the other person has. But I digress.
The central theme of the piece is the ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, and how Classism (prejudice against people belonging to a particular social class) might be the newest form of Racism.
Visually, the piece has several constituents; The Staircase is a Penrose Staircase, designed by Lionel Penrose, a British Psychiatrist. This is a Staircase which goes on in a loop and is also known as the “Impossible Staircase”. That is supposed to represent the seemingly unending struggle of people of lower classes and those stricken by poverty. They are caught in a paradox. The Louis Vuitton logo, the Plus sign, and the Flower, stand for Wealth, Wellness, Safety and Love respectively. The fruits of labour are just out of reach. Lastly, the woman is Princess Marie-Louise Therese, who was married to a Prince who was heir to the greatest fortune in all of France, at the time. She sits on a skull, with her gown hiding it, to say that the Rich can keep Death at bay thanks to the facilities available to them. Moreover, the skull is obscured, the final layer in the piece, signifying the fact that most of life is a spectacle designed to hide the fact that whether Rich or Poor, Young or Old, we are all going to end up the same.
This piece was part of the PNG Series, a set of four pictures designed on charcoal black backgrounds in order to focus on the message.
Life No. 4
The above piece is titled “Life No.4”, it’s piece that holds great importance for me, it helped me find my voice as an artist, a style that is truly my own. In this case, the style is Collage Art of culturally significant images and ideas and people, paired with bold typography and a simple single color background.
The piece was inspired by a lyric of The Weeknd wherein he croons,“We got choices” and that’s where the whole idea of “dizzying freedom” comes from. You have choices and The Weeknd views his life through the lens of excess.
The fact that we can do whatever we want and be whoever we want, is brought to the forefront. It is the realization of freedom; the almost dizzying amount of choices we have on how we can spend the little time we have here.
The visual constituents of this piece include various celebrities, Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans, a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, a leather jacket by Yves Saint Laurent, a pair of red-soled Louboutins pumps, and lastly a cigarette. The idea here is that one can make art, design clothes, sing for hundreds of thousands of people, become a model, or be anything else you want. Lastly, the eyes of the humans in the piece have been covered. This builds on the idea of excess; that you have so many choices in everything — clothes, cars, art — that, it doesn’t matter what it is you do, you do it because you can.
This was the fourth piece in a series of nine pieces.
Saud Rahman is always looking to collaborate and freelance for various creative companies and agencies. Chat wth Saud by messaging him on his Dysco profile and even find the link to Poetry Machine‘s instagram page.