Contemporary Impressionism, New-Impressionism, Painterly style - whatever description you use the expectation remains the same. You expect a style of painting that is bold, packed with big juicy brushwork, suggested details, simplification of shapes and a little mystery too. These paintings are representational, but often flirt close to abstraction.
This approach to painting has been my guiding light for the past ten years or more. The loose, painterly approach is exciting, different and often frustratingly elusive. One of the artists that is pushing the boundaries of Neo-Impressionism is Russian artist Bato Dugarzhapov.
In this article I want to introduce you to this artist's work. Take time to look up his paintings and study his style. Bato's painting may seem wild at times, but at others it is gentle and evocative too. Certainly difficult to emulate, but inspirational too.
The first video is a compilation of photos showing some of his paintings. In the second video, an interview, you will discover more about the man, his beginnings and his motivations as a painter. A transcript has kindly been provided by Marina Shaduri, one of the talented students on my online school. A BIG thank you to Marina for taking the time to translate and type out the transcript ?
PS: In the interview you will notice that Bato sports an unusual mustache/beard. Marina confirms that this is part of Bato's sense of humour at work ?
Below is the Interview and transcript:
Questions and Answers
- Is it true that you choose your future profession because of the smell?
- Smell played an important role. Turpentine’s smell is “yummy”.
- Is it true that in childhood you liked the TV-project “Health” the most?
- That’s true.
- In your book you wrote that your dream was to become a medical doctor.
-Yes, it was.
-And the most vivid memory from your childhood is the portrait of Lenin painted on the wall of your school?
- Correct. I was the second grade student when I saw several adults working on the 3 sq. m painting “Uljanov” in the school hall…
- You were 12 y old when your mother sent you to Moscow. Could you imagine back then that you will become a world-renown artist
-No, of course, not, but I was glad to study in Moscow.
-You are still securely keeping your oldest paintings…
- I burned half of them, the rest is archived, so yes.
- Market experts state that joyful and sunny paintings are much more popular than the mid-tone and “sad” ones.
- Yes, the ratio is approximately 70% to 30%
- You did paint a fresco at Cathedral of Christ the Savior (central dome and dome above altar). Was it a significant stage in your artistic life?
- Sure. The most important one.
-Did the patriarch of Russia Alexey the second give you any reward for this work?
- Yes, I’ve got the medal and the diploma.
- Do you paint any commissioned paintings?
-Rarely. I don’t like commissions and I always warn people that I’ll paint this and like that…. Nothing would be changed/reworked.
- Auctions in Paris stimulated the rise of your paintings’ prices. Some of them today cost up to a million dollars…
- Well, any painting might be priced either high or low…
Narrator: Bato is today’s world-renown impressionist. His works are delicate and solemn. He enriched impressionism by adding some ideas of 21 century to it, where both - realism and abstraction took their proper positions. Viewers freeze looking at Bato’s paintings – his incredible colors and the light that encounters paintings induce real admiration in people.
Narrator: Bato’s mom wanted one of her sons to become a painter. She sent her middle son Bair to an art-school. But an accident that brought badly injured Bair to the hospital, drastically changed his plans. Bair decided to become a surgeon, while Bato, who was an excellent archer dreaming about a medical career became a very successful artist. Such a metamorphosis…
Bato started to study painting in his homeland, at the small art school in his village.
Narrator: French Galleries quickly understood that the painter they trapped is incredibly talented. Bato from hungry Russia was not aware that he was worth much more than he himself could imagine. Young man was naively happy that people like his art and that he has the chance to be in Paris, so lovable by his favorite impressionists.
Narrator: In 1992 Bato met his future wife Ajuna (pre-arranged marriage by their parents, but they liked one another. In 1994 their son was born and the same year Bato was invited to paint at Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow. The whole family started to live and work in Moscow since then. Today they have a son, who wants to become a master-chief in culinary and a daughter, who is talented in music – both are shown by the end of this video.
Narrator: Bato fell in love with Russian nature.
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Malcolm Dewey: Artist. Country: South Africa