Azerbaijan International

Summer 2003 (11.2)
Pages 30-33

Artists in the Loft
Bahram Khalilov - Watchful Eye on Mother Nature
by Bahram Khalilov

For more works by Bahram Khalilov -
Mobile in Baku: (994-50) 316-27-81

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I was fortunate to born into a very creative family in1970. My father Farhad Khalilov was a painter and my mother, a psychiatrist. From childhood, I was enveloped in an atmosphere of intellectual thought and art. Neither of my parents pressured me into becoming an artist. Simply, I grew up in an environment that made me pursue a career of self-expression.

From as early as I can remember, I've been fascinated and preoccupied with drawing, painting, reading books of philosophy and listening to music, and even performing it. Music was a big part of our family and still is. Both of my parents enjoy playing music - especially jazz, rhythm and blues. Yes and also funk music. To a great extent, music still plays an important role in my life and my art.

I belong to a generation of contemporary artists who are in search of unconventional ways to express themselves.

Nevertheless, I feel privileged to have received a classical art education: four years at Azerbaijan State Art College and three years at the Azerbaijan Art University and five years studying in New York City including a degree at the renowned Pratt Institute.

There, in the setting of the "Big Apple", I was exposed to new artistic experiences, ranging from extensive graphic arts training with computer technology to communicating via art to a more diverse and wider audience. Being there also enabled me to learn more about Western art and to meet a great number of young, as well as renowned, artists from distant corners of our cosmopolitan world.

I strongly believe that an artist cannot be a whole person if he lacks knowledge and personal experience of the traditional ways of art. Various artists throughout history have been preoccupied with the same questions of visual, philosophical and formal aesthetics of art.

What is an artist? For me, it's a person who is honest-totally honest-in every aspect of his life. To be an artist means to search for the Truth of life. In my particular case, that means mostly through visual art media. May God grant me the strength of heart, keen perception, and depth of intuition to distinguish Truth from lies-Truth from artificiality.

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