Rano Eshankulova, Art Critic
In contemporary life, when the time is transient and many notions of life are changing rapidly, the artists may rely on their sincerity, inner freedom and the wish to comprehend the world in its entire variety and its numerous facets. Such is the artist – Farkhad Razakov. He was born in 1964 in Bukhara. His father – the artist Usman Razakov – in the memories of Farkhad and the artists of Bukhara of older generation was a friendly, cordial person.
Young Farkhad was fond of painting already in his childhood. According to him, his father was his first teacher and tutor; therefore he has chosen this path thanks to his father’s guidance. “All of my life I am grateful to him…” recalls Farkhad.
After successful graduation of Tadjik National Artistic School named after M. Olimov in 1986 (in Dushanbe), with a degree of the artist/designer, F. Razakov has commenced his professional work in the Artistic Workshop of Bukhara under the Artistic Foundation of Uzbekistan. There he has met such artists of older generation as B. Salomov, N. Babaev, A. Barnaev, Z. Saidjanov, M. Abdullaev, A. Hazratov, and others. There used to be a lot of orders to the workshop. The artists used to create their individual pieces of art in their free time; they were jointly discussing the works of their colleagues and young artists. Such ambience had a positive impact on Farkhad. This was the very place where the future painter made his first significant creative attempts.
In his paintings F. Razakov depicts the philosophical aspect of the various everyday life events. He has elaborated his own unique creative approach. His perception of the world is individual and enigmatic; his paintings are saturated with instinctive force and sensuality.
Surrealism is a new powerful artistic trend of the first half of the XX century, which famous representative was the genial Salvador Dali, whose paintings have inspired and influenced the creativity of F. Razakov. However, Razakov has formed his own style of brush work. For example, there are such interesting paintings of his hand as “The Patrol of Tranquility” (2011), “The Gypsies’ Donkey” (2011) and “Sickness” (2012), which like photographs fix the fictitious visions of the artist, convincing the audience in their reality.
Thus, “The Patrol of Tranquility” is a wonderful oriental town painted by the artist in its entire splendor. It is located on the hill and surrounded by thick walls. In the foreground of the picture, behind the walls there are four mounted patrol guards. There images are distorted, glances are dull and grimacing faces express boredom. The painter conveys his perception of the changing world, revealing the negative aspects of life in the images of the guardians, highlighting the idea that global cataclysms, violation of environment and harmony in the world have adverse impact on human beings, who become hollow-hearted and immoral, nourishing the vices. In the background of the picture the painter has depicted the panorama of the town. It seems like the town itself is situated in the different world, where there is a reign of the harmony, beauty and tranquility. Only the wall as a screen protects the fantastic town from the dark outside world. An oriental town with blue domes, fabulous minarets stands afar on the hill like a mirage, a vision or hallucination of the painter derived from his dreams. The plot of the painting has a mystical nature. The light-ochre colors of the palaces and the turquoise-blue domes of the fairytale town used by the artist enchant the viewers, narrate them about eternal beauty and the world of poetry, inspiring and encouraging having an optimistic outlook of the world.
In the painting “The Gypsies’ Donkey”, F. Razakov has expressed his love for nature and his inner freedom. Playfully winding road makes the centre of the picture’s composition, along which a donkey is hardly pulling the huge carriage loaded with some trash. On the top of the carriage is sitting a funny naked dark Gypsy boy. In the foreground of the picture is a woman covered in lilac veil, holding a bowl filled with water. The bare breasts of the woman are chaste. The artist emphasizes her maternal origin. In the rhythm of people’s lives the artist senses something ancient, religious and sublime. Downcast eyes and slightly tilted head of a young woman, according to the artist’s interpretation represent the pure and chaste image of Madonna – the mother. By her side stands a thoughtful boy. The plot of the picture is not associated with the developments depicted on the canvas, each character exists by itself. Men dressed in traditional robes are standing back to back. Everything happens as if in a dream. All shades of brown color on the picture are somewhat extraterrestrial. The energy of painter fills the whole picture. It seems that every detail of the picture – the stones, mountain peaks, water, bizarre trees playfully follow the shape of the human body. The images are divided into fragments that are so characteristic of surrealism. The artist’s idea is to convey the eternal mystery of beauty and transformation of life.
The state of mind of the artist conveys a picture “Sickness”, where the artist assumes the eternal theme of spiritual love and pain. Half-naked sad person, depicted in the painting, is sitting near a huge rock. He seems unhappy and lonely. This image shows unsatisfied state of his soul. The girl in the similitude of Muse is piercing the rock mass with a sword, which breaks into pieces. Metaphorical image of the rock is a petrified broken heart. A silhouette of a girl against the background of the painting as a lyrical image of the pain of love and the impossible dream of the artist. Rich brown and red shades enhance the expression and emotional state of the main character of the painting.
A series of the paintings by F. Razakov – “Lyabi Havuz” (1990), “Composition” (2013), “Bukhara” (2014), “The City of My Childhood” (2014) and “Migratory Birds” (2014) is devoted to the artist’s hometown – Bukhara. Of particular interest is organically built composition of the painting “The City of My Childhood”. The painter depicts the architectural panorama of the city of Bukhara made of the collected detail structures. An ancient oriental city that for centuries captivated people by its fabulous beauty impressed the artist since his childhood with its magical and mysterious world. The picture is painted in the style of contemporary modernism. Various shades of ochre, brown and blue transmit the solar warmth and a sense of joy. Paintings in this series are different from the previous works of the painter by their artistic style. They seem a little textured and veiled, as if they are shroud by the morning dew. Such style of painting is especially attractive and blends with the picture’s plot. At the center of composition the artist placed the havuz (pool) and a wide variety of structures, palaces with domes, minarets and wonderful home around it. The water is the essence of everything; it is a symbol of life and purity.
In his paintings the artist F. Razakov seeks to create such a beautiful system, which core is the harmony of pure, bright colors. F. Razakov said: “The impression of nature should connect to the aesthetic sense, which selects, organizes, facilitates and synthesizes …”
Farhad Razakov did not write about many things, his world of sensations is infinite, regardless of the fact that he has managed to find his individual style. His paintings are philosophic, imbued with deep meaning. I have the feeling that the artist was finding his images in the internal rhythm of his soul. His paintings transmit the craving for everything mysterious and adventurous.