To the original portrait of Bahtiyor Mahkamov

Issue #1 • 1810

The works of some modern Uzbek artists often reveal a tendency to close the painting by the force of its direct influence and music. For example, the pictures “Requiem” and “Korean song about the black Sun” by N. Shin, “Melody of the desert” by D. Usmanov, “Song about Uzbek girls” and “Song of the Homeland” by B. Mahkamov, “Melody of the old city” and “Song” by D. Umarbekov and others. Striving to creation of “sounding” painting is typical of the works by B. Mahkamov. His works are well – known both in our republic and abroad. B. Mahkamov is a participant of many republican and international exhibitions (America, England, Holland, Turkey, Hungary, Morocco, Israel, Austria and Germany).

It is difficult to find a genre of painting where B. Mahkamov has not tried himself: they are portraits, landscapes, still lives, etc. He is one of the artists, which strives to make the track for further development of Uzbek art in the 21st century, harmonically combining elements of traditional national art culture and modern world vision. His canvas draw attention by pathos of art innovations; the artist tries to see significant and typical in particulars, to strengthen psychological aspect of his works.

The artist travels a lot, each time discovering new themes for his art activity. Anxiety for knowledge of life has caused his trips to Namangan, Gavu, Chust, Samarkand, Bukhara, Chatkal and Padsha – Ata, made, with especial attention, to look at faces of old men, women and to feel the beauty of the native land. Orientation to lyrical spirituality, to the searches for difficult logics of spiritual communication of the man and nature penetrates all art works of B. Mahkamov.

When he was a child, at the art studio, B. Mahkamov began his way on obtaining of art skills. Graduating from the Republican Art College named after P. Benkov, he continued his education at the Tashkent State Institute of Theatre and Art named after A.N. Ostrovsky, faculty of Painting. In 1988, he entered post – graduate class of National Artist of Uzbekistan, Laureate of the State Khamza’s premium, academician Rakhim Akhmedov.

The works by B. Mahkamov have deep ideological, aesthetic and philosophic content. They give great enjoyment of sensitive contact with the world around. Behind their external beauty is hidden the world full of symbols and metaphors making the spectator to think and interpret their essence and activate his own imagination. At the same time, his works are distinguished by original painting properties. Bright and open colour has never attracted the artist; tonal-colour integrity of the works is reached in account of rich tonal solutions becoming a basis of the completed composition. Harmony of pink-white, blue, emerald – green colours and fine thin lines of a drawing gives exquisiteness and especial lyricism to his pictures.

Mystery and significance of action penetrate the picture “Birth” and cause symbolic interpretation of the picture: we can see a handsome youth, dreaming estranged alone. Through the magic light, as if dissolving the space, the figure of the Creator touching the youth by His hand is seen. A moment and his soul will awake up and return to the life inspired by supreme power. Only spirituality is a cause of human birth – such is a main idea of the picture full of highly romantic tones.

In the works devoted to love, the artist uses the subjects of classic oriental poetry. Such are pictures about Laili and Majnun. In art of the Orient, the image of ladylove always bore two mutually added functions, simultaneously being a real character and a symbol of the goddess. For Mahkamov, absolute is the truth that the woman is the deity but the real and spiritual deity.

In following the laws of musical harmony, B. Mahkamov sees the integrity of permanently changing world. This is that explains his idea that “the artist is first of all a musician”. It is logic that many his works, by their content, name and harmony of exquisite colour solutions, resemble singing and music. Dynamic gestures and postures subordinated to a rhythm of composition create integrity and richness of musical associations in the works “Melody of love”, “Song of the Homeland”, “Song of harp-musician” and “Song about Uzbek girls”.

The picture “Song about Uzbek girls” is penetrated by romantic mood. Taken out of everyday trivial details the female images organically are weaved into musical rhythm of composition, integral and completed in its plastics. Easy brushstroke “caresses” the surface of canvas, playing by gentle half – tones of blue – green and white – pink colours. The song “Uzbek sizlari” singing the love and harmony of external and inner spiritual beauty reflects lyrically romantic nature of this picture. The picture and the song are affinitive by their emotional mood and striving to purity. “Female” line continues in the pictures “Song of harp musician” and “Sleeping Laili”. “Song of the Homeland” reflects a joy of spring awaking of Bukhara. Silhouettes and contours of houses and trees are illuminated by first spring rays of the southern Sun. Evanishing in the air, city quarters and fresh green grass form animated world and feeling of impressively sounding happy song. Prevalence of various tones of blue fills up the picture by the air and makes it very light. The work amazes by richness of spiritual associations.

New horizons are opened in the pictures “Last Supper”, “The last day of Yassavi” and “Aksakals”. The artist touches the problem of panhuman values – life and death, good and evil. He is interested in some amalgamation of the past and present, social and historical being of the person. Actually, in these pictures the border between historical and modern theme is effaced. The personages of “Last Supper” are the blind aksakal and old man talking about something. At the first look, they are quiet, but behind this quietness can be guessed hidden spiritual tension and significance of the images.

Spiritually psychological deepness of the picture actually amazes. It is done in monochromic colour palette with slightly sad intonations, which strengthen feeling of fragility and vulnerability of heart world of the man. “Last supper” attracts by its well – balanced and simple composition. In this simplicity of art image, dark colour and quiet loneness of the male figures is opened dramatics and greatness of human spirit’s power.

I think, the works by B. Mahkamov having educational and aesthetic value and being a phenomenon of true art belong not only to national culture, but to panhuman culture in a whole.

Author: Dilbar Tashbaeva

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