Ravshan Mirtajiyev’s creative biography began back in 1980. The main path that the sculptor’s works were to follow was laid down in his very first works – a path associated with patriotic subjects.
For example, one of his early sculptures, “Mother and Child”, created in 1985 and standing in Andijan Region, dealt with the tragic events of the Second World War and the young Uzbeks who did not return from the front. It only became possible to illustrate that theme – that of love for one’s own country – in the 1990s, when the Republic of Uzbekistan declared its independence.
Interest in the country’s own history, its own heroes and events in the remote past has grown considerably since independence. Uzbekistan’s history has now come to be a stimulus that inspires the country’s creative intellectuals. Treating historical subjects and the great personalities of the past now provides yet another opportunity for the artist to embody the ideas of patriotism, today’s main problems and the eternal themes that are relevant to any people and to any time. In this respect, one can point to such works by Mirtajiyev as “Temurmalik” (1990, bronze, 40 cm), “Rain” (1995, bronze), “Babur. Homesickness” (1996, bronze, 30×30 cm), “Babur the Traveller” (2000, bronze, 25 cm) and “Behzad” (2000, brass, 60 cm).
The sculptor returned time and again in his works to the character of Babur, the great statesman, poet and military commander, a member of the Timurid dynasty. Two freestanding and one monumental work handle that theme. The feelings of the hero, who is homesick for his native land, are the main theme in the freestanding works. The artist skilfully depicts his ideas by finding the appropriate plastic treatment. In the sculpture “Babur. Homesickness”, the hero is shown at the moment when, with boundless excitement and respect, he is accepting a melon brought to him as a gift – food grown on the sacred soil of the homeland so dear to his heart. The feeling of nostalgia for the Fatherland that fills Babur’s heart is revealed through the harmony of form and content. In the work “Babur the Traveller”, in which the hero is depicted on horseback, the sculptor convincingly portrays the disturbed state of his wandering hero, his emotional anguish and the effort to master the torment of pining for his native land.
The works “Rain”, “Temurmalik” and “Behzad” are rather different in mood. In the last one, which portrays the great Eastern painter of miniatures, the sculptor himself employs the miniaturist style. In “Rain”, one senses the influence of Damir Ruzybayev, and especially that of his works “The Muses of Inspiration” (1980) and “Ibn Sino” (Avicenna) (1978). Mirtajiyev’s “Rain” is marked by its deep link with national artistic traditions.
The sculptor’s monument to Babur, which stands in Andijan, convincingly depicts the idea of the greatness of the Timurid state and its enduring role in the history of world civilisation. Also noteworthy are the sculptures of victims of the period of repression – the monument to Abdulla Kadyr, set up in Tashkent in 1994, and to Abdulhamid Chulpan, erected in 1997 in Andijan. They reflect the steadfastness of spirit and the firm ideals that marked the national intelligentsia of the early 20thcentury.
As he works on any particular character, the artist makes a deep study of the history of his life and activities and ponders the most interesting and expressive plastic means of portraying him so as to give the most complete and vivid expression to the subject’s personality. That is why his efforts serve each time to enrich the range of forms and methods of working.
Throughout his productive years, Mirtajiyev has created many sculptural works, both monumental and freestanding. He regularly takes part in a number of national and foreign exhibitions. Some of his works are in on display in Japan, France and the USA. Mirtajiyev’s freestanding and monumental works complement one another, since the sculptor tries each time to find new means of artistic expression. In his monumental works, Mirtajiyev adheres to tried and tested approaches when creating an image, but, when working on the plastics of small shapes, he effortlessly breaks the mould of the required form and creates sculptures in a highly individual style, using modern techniques.
In the course of his work, Mirtajiyev likes to reproduce what he has imagined in some plastic material, such as plasticine or clay, and then cast it in bronze. But he also works with difficult materials like stone, marble and granite. Mirtajiyev responds with deep sincerity to the country’s political and spiritual guidelines as he creates his works and achieves an ever greater emotional and artistic expressiveness.
Author: Dilmurad Pulatov