Jurat Rahmani was born in 1952. His childhood and youth were spent in his native Namangan. At the age of 15, he became a pupil at an art workshop and, in 1970, entered the Republican Art College, from which he was soon called up into the army. In 1981, Jurat graduated from the painting department of the Tashkent Theatrical Art Institute. It was then that his independent creative activities began. In his work, Jurat Rahmani combines a refined colourfulness and the characteristic features of the East that he holds so dear with a searching spirit and a love of truth. Although inspired by the countryside and way of life of his native land, Jurat is, at the same time, open to the winds that reach us from the modernist West.
The artist’s works combine undoubted talent, a thorough basis of skill and a desire to speak truthfully about his times and his people without any idealisation that detracts from objective truth. His art came to the notice of art critics during a 1984 group exhibition of young artists at the Ilkhom club for creative young people. Interest in his work was also confirmed in the early 1990s, when the group personal exhibitions of J. Rahmani and I. Valihojayev took place in Namangan. At that time, Jurat’s works already displayed a meaningful complexity of content and a figurative way of thinking based on association and metaphor.
Jurat focuses on Man, his social type, his destiny and his unique characteristics. But equally unique is the splendid countryside of his beloved Fergana Valley, which also constantly inspires him. Sometimes it is through natural symbols and analogies that the artist tells us about people’s destiny. Jurat regards himself as a realist painter, and this is not in doubt, since the representational and graphic principles have never disappeared from his work. After all, realism is not constrained by narrow definitions and takes varied and individual forms in art. His realism is thoroughly permeated by expressionism and is far removed from any dispassionate photographic depiction of life.
Jurat’s works are marked by a democratic spirit, which runs through everything he creates. The heroes of his canvases are ordinary people, the people in the broad sense of the term. A true artist, Jurat Rahmani cannot pass by dramatic, sometimes tragic conflicts, the problems of his time, which are reflected in his pictures. They are open (as in his picture “Apocalypse”, 2002), but are sometimes mediated (several versions of pictures with blind people). Like S. Alibekov, Jurat Rahmani makes frequent use of the language of symbols and allegory. The real meaning of his canvases is sometimes only hinted at in a number of his pictures; at other times, it is made plain by the actual titles.
In 2000 and 2001, Jurat made two trips to Paris, where he established contact with the Salon des Independants. It is very hard for a painter to attract attention and, even more so, to achieve recognition in Paris, where tens of thousands of artists live and work. Nevertheless, Jurat’s works did attract specialists’ attention, and several of his canvases have already been accepted for sale in the Salon. This means that French painting experts have acknowledged him to be a true artist.
The artist paints both portraits and his own compositions from life, from memory and according to his impressions from life. He avoids clear-cut colours in his pictures, seeking to achieve a subtler colour range that corresponds to the picture’s idea and content. Sometimes, though, dramatic subjects in his work are conveyed to us in vivid colours. Jurat is attentive to detail. He sees them and depicts them in his pictures, occasionally assigning to them an important role in revealing a work’s meaning and content.
The artist works constantly and unhurriedly, seeking to give his works a perfect and finished appearance. In landscapes painted from real life, he generally comes across to us as a consummate realist. Jurat combines his creative work with his teaching activities. For over 15 years, he has been teaching the basics of drawing, painting and composition to students at the Kamaliddin Behzad National Institute of Art and Design.
Many more discoveries and creative achievements lie ahead of the artist. Let us hope that he will see and observe life in its most varied manifestations, worthy of the craftsman’s attention, and that he will remain true to the range of national subjects, to his beloved Fergana Valley and to his native Uzbekistan.
Author: Rafael Taktash