Portraits of fellow-villagers created by photo-artist Sultanbai Dekhkanov, who was born in Sretenko village on the bank of Syrdarya River in Bekabad District, are notable for their simplicity and are very convincing in their realistic presentation. The master stays away from idealization and external effects. Dekhkanov usually photographs his models against the backdrop of landscapes, trying to communicate their inner world in the first place.
Among Dekhkanov’s works is a series of psychological portraits, including “Shepherd Woman”, “The Portrait of Artist Tura Shomirzaev”, “Oidym Momo”, “Family”, “Facing a Dream”, “Cocoon Spinners”, “Utluv Momo” and others. One of his finest works, “The Big Harvest”, was included in a catalogue titled “125th Anniversary of Uzbek Photography”.
In principle, artistic photography and painting share a number of common features despite being different art forms. An artist portrays not only the reality, but he also brings in his imagination and personal attitude to it, whereas photographer must accurately reproduce the object and site. Dekhkanov argues that “The art of painting and photography should not have redundant details. Compositional solutions are similar – they help draw essential conclusions and make philosophic decisions. One famous photo-artist used to say, ‘Of 100 paintings about 70 are a success, whereas in photography only two or three in a hundred are successful”.
Many themes in his works are born during travels. The artist visited different places in our country – towns and villages in Bukhara, Kashkadarya, Samarqand and Tashkent provinces.
Dekhkanov dedicated some of his works to historical monuments of architecture, urban and rural landscapes. He is interested in nature, courtyards, gardens, streets of towns and villages… Remarkably beautiful combination of architectural shapes and colour solution characterizes his “Shokhizinda”. A photo-study “Springtime in Baysun” stands out with its romantically charged characters, poetic perception of life and emotional colouristic tune that absorbed all heart-felt experiences.
To know the history of one’s country means to get in touch with the origins of spirituality, without which it is hard to imagine the present.
Dekhkanov is an energetic, restless, and cheerful person – qualities that have a positive influence on his art of photography. He has earned respect for his dedication to art, his love for his native land and his self-denial. Creating canvases inspired by rural theme, the artist gives his attention mostly to the harmonious unity of man and nature.
Dekhkanov is a participant of a number of national-level exhibitions and contests. For instance, at the exhibition titled “People of the Earth” he was awarded a Diploma of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan (2006); at the republican contest “Motherland Starts from Mahalla” he received a Grand-Prix for his photograph “Mahalla is a Centre of Enlightenment” (2008); and a diploma at the republican contest “Mirror of Rural Life” where he presented his “Bride” and “Rural Girls”, showing traditions that exist in rural lifestyle.
In July 2009 Dekhkanov took part in a photo-exhibition “My Favourite City” dedicated to the 2200th anniversary of Tashkent, where he demonstrated his works “The Picture of Life”, “The Scent of Summer”, “Yesterday Meets Today”, and “Meeting a Dream”. “The Picture of Life” performed as portrait was recognized to be the best in the genre.
Works by photo-artist Dekhkanov are original in their colour, imagination and workmanship. They were admired by visitors of numerous national exhibitions, who had a chance to become submerged into the mysterious and enigmatic world of the art of photography.
Future plans of Dekhkanov are wide-ranging. He intends to create pieces telling about rural development. We hope that subsequent exhibitions will display vivid characters of his fellow-villagers and photographs of signature events and remarkable transformations in rural life.