East Meets West

The Sufi


Glass Murals


Surti departed from the routine and experimented bold and difficult forms by using mirror pieces in the composition of his collages. It was not seen before like this nor were the collages attempted by any artist.

Art Journal, Bombay Art Society

Mirror Collage


Stain Glass Designs

He has spent the last decade exploring yet another new medium to express his creativity – stained glass. “It’s a challenge to combine the traditional church art with modern architecture and find new ways of using glass to create textures of light and colour,” he says.

Aabid has created more than 200 designs for stained glass, most of which have been executed by Khandwani Studio in Mumbai for clients from different countries.


The Evolution Series consists of around 25 paintings using an unusual technique – the actual painting was done while the acrylic was still being cast so that some areas were opaque, some translucent and others transparent. The theme of the exhibition was creation in all its forms – from individual to cosmic.


Surti does it in fine style when he lets the colour flow in liquid heat and crystallize itself in an abstract pattern, leaving certain areas to see through.
Evening News,
29th March 1979

But the real glory of the experiment is to be seen in the pure abstract endeavours as in the series under the title — FORMATION. The meeting of the red and the orange emboldened by a fine black line quiversto the feel of touch and radiates a human glow of flesh and form.
Times Of India,
March 1979

He has a good technique and excellent imagination and perspective… There is something creative and original in his works and so they look refreshingly alive and different.
Mid Day,
March 1981

The Live Canvas


The Live Canvas (1977) was a novel experiment in which the painter’s canvas was the skin of a beautiful young professional model. Says Aabid, “The purpose of body painting in tribals is mostly to frighten away evil spirits, mine was to create love.”
The result was a breakthrough which made it to numerous newspapers, magazines and even the cover of the Sunday Weekly magazine.


“My wife was at her parents home during the children’s summer holidays and I had no money to buy canvasses,” remembers Aabid, “so I began painting walls. The painting soon spread to the ceiling, fan, furniture, pots, pans and anything that came in my way!

So far I had been living with my paintings, now I was living within my painting.” The media lapped it up, beginning with the prestigious The Times of India newspaper. The only person who wasn’t amused was the landlord.


Aabid had started experimenting with his new style of painting on one of the four walls of his one room flat. But the creative urge being compelling, he went on and on till he had exausted the walls, the celing (includind the celing fan) and the floor.
For continuity he has prolonged his paintings so that they liberally spill over chairs and cupboard.
Times of India 1969

He went wild and I mean real wild. Cupboards, chairs, ceiling, and even bedsheets - he spared nothing.
JS December 1970