Volcano - Erupt if You Can!
Abdullayev, Hamza - In Search of Eternal
- Najafov, Fazil - New Era - New Commands
- Mirjavad, Javad - Artist as Prophet
- Khalilov, Farhad - Struggle Matures Artists
Volcano - Erupt if
the Soviet period, we had to rise against the system in order
to make art independent from it. Today, art is free and independent.
If someone is a genuine artist, he can take advantage of this
freedom. Being an artist is like being a volcano, if you're able
to erupt, then do it; if not, then keep silent."
(1927-2007), social critic and one of Azerbaijan's most well-known
artists anticipated the collapse of the Soviet Union and dedicated
many of his works to themes related to its disintegration. See
article on page 45 and samples of his work in AI 3.1 (Spring
In Search of Eternal
is my life! Everything that surrounds me arouses feelings in
my heart. If I couldn't transfer these feelings onto canvas,
life would lose its meaning. If I couldn't create, then I couldn't
live. Perhaps creating is like a biological process or like God's
creation of mountains and valleys. . . When my work is in progress,
I'm like a man surrounded by darkness seeking the light. And
the light I am longing for is the light of Truth. If the work
turns out all right, if I have been able to sing my song in the
language of art, then I feel at ease. It's a joy that I cannot
describe in words because life is transient but art is eternal."
(1946- ) describing the artistic process he feels when he is
painting. See article on page 74.
New era-New commands
"For artists in Azerbaijan today, it's as if an army general
has commanded his soldiers to take off their heavy shoulder straps
and cumbersome waist belts and be free. It's as if he told them:
"Go and do what you are able to do." If you're an artist
capable of doing something, if you are someone who really comprehends
what art is, you'll be able to achieve something. Those who are
not able to create something are in an awkward situation. Unfortunately,
many artists have succumbed to the whim of commercialization,
to the wish of customers. Not all artists, of course. There are
still those who create real art."
(1935- ), one of Azerbaijan's most distinguished sculptors was
awarded the Grand Prize by fellow artists for being the "Most
Disgraced of the Most Talented Artists" at the Tbilisi Biennial
Art Exhibition in 1986. See article on page 60 and samples of
his work in AI 3.1 (Spring 1995).
Artist as Prophet and
our language, the word "rassam" (painter) means a person
who can foretell the future. A painter ranks art, his creative
activity, higher than life itself. Art always precedes science,
opening up broad horizons for thinking and enabling people to
understand themselves and their surroundings. It helps them to
see realities that escape the glance of the naked eye. An artist
is a prophet. Painting is not a profession; it is a gift bestowed
(1923-1992) in his diary, written while he was recuperating from
a heart attack in 1983. See article on page 31.
Struggle Matures Artists
"I speak about the 1960s because I grew up during that period
and it was then that Azerbaijani art was developing its own ideology
[separate from the Soviet system]. We always had difficulties;
artists were expressing their thoughts in their works despite
the fact that they were not allowed to get them exhibited. Nevertheless,
artists struggled against these repressive attitudes. Today we
can say that there is no struggle. We have many talented young
artists and whenever I meet them, I somehow feel pity that they
haven't had the chance to struggle through this same process."
(1947- ) became the first elected Head of the Artist's Union
(1987- ) in Azerbaijan during the Soviet period. Even more surprising
to the intellectuals was the fact that he won the position despite
the fact that he had no affiliation with the Communist Party.
See article on page 70.
From Azerbaijan International (7.2) Summer1999.
© Azerbaijan International 1999. All rights reserved.
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AI 7.2 (Summer 99)
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