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Impressions of urban life

The images you are about to see may look remarkably like fine art, but they are actually photographs of things most of us see and ignore every day. The activities of human life leave traces on various surfaces; sometimes intentionally, sometimes inadvertently, but rarely does anyone realize that such markings contain within them an abstract language that can be rich and compelling. I find such images on walls, dumpsters, sidewalks, rusty pipes, subways; just about anywhere in the urban landscape, and use digital photography to give them another life.

One of the more fascinating aspects of this intimate photographic excursion into physical detail is how the borders between abstraction and representative art dissolve. The photographic eye’s meticulous, intimate scrutiny in these images reveals the rich texture and the many-splendored impressions left by urban living, nature and the elements.

Born and raised in Dhaka, Bangladesh, I am a self-taught artist who chose medicine as a profession (I am now on the faculty of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia), but continued to explore my artistic vision and ideals. In medical school, I participated in creating an exhibit of posters on contemporary issues that drew wide acclaim in Bangladesh. In Philadelphia, I became an alumnus of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and still attend figure-drawing sessions there, as well as at the Philadelphia Sketch Club and the Fleisher Art Memorial. My work has appeared in group shows at PAFA, and my first solo exhibit took place in September, 2008 at the Gould Gallery in Ardmore, PA.

These images were originally taken from various surfaces of urban life including decaying walls, dumpster and pavement. Digital images are printed on Fredericks waterproof canvas with UV pigmented inks. Finished prints are coated with Soluvar and mounted using archival material.


photograph by mashiul chowdhury


all content © 2007–2014 Mashiul Chowdhury