Painters Rafail and Diana Aliyevs are creating for themselves, not for market

Canvases of painters Rafail Aliyev and Nailya Ahmedova are exhibited at the 8th Beijing International Art Biennale. Aliyev presented in Beijing his work titled "A song of the Gipsy". Note that Aliyev"s paintings have been selected by Biennale organizers in May this year. Then the paintings were wrapped up in a special box and taken away to Beijing, R. Aliyev told

This year Biennale" theme was "Colorful world and common destiny". Biennale date: from 26 August to 23 September in Beijing, China.

Family of the painters Aliyevs together with two sons-schoolboys lives in a settlement of Bilga, a big house surrounded by remarkable, overseas plants and ordinary Apsheron trees. An Aliyevs" studio is outfitted with old furniture and incomplete canvases; next to them are oils, brushes, jars; a computer in the corner and a coffee table in the center crammed with cups.

I seated myself on a squeezed sofa beneath a gaze of impressionist Rafail Aliyev. He began his career as a metal painter with a special emphasis on national motives. Five years ago he went over to oils and canvas due to physical difficulties arising from work with metal. "That"s that...growing old".

It should be borne in mind that Rafail"s paintings abound in animals, fish drawn in color and style of cubism. There are images of women in contentment whose faces a viewer fills in detail through his own imagination. The painter as if suggests a viewer himself to complete a canvas in line with his own fantasy.

"Many years ago I dreamt of drawing canvases and decorating my habitation with them. However, over the past two years hard living conditions forced me to sell paintings ", the painter expressed his regret. - Creative work has to be combined with commercial activity, look for buyers or employ gallery dealers who take a part of goods value for the work executed.

It should be added that in April a Rafail"s work "Bonsai. Sakura" was purchased in Dubai. Now he is doing a painting for a charitable organization. The work will be auctioned off in support of orphans. Note that 3-4 paintings are sold a year. It"s too little, practically nothing in consideration of painter"s cost and expenses.

It should be remembered that 10 canvases by Diana and approx. 25 canvases by Rafail Aliyev have been exhibited online at the International Modern Art Museum of Haifa (Israel). There works are also exhibited at Baku galleries.

Note that a part of Diana paintings are a combination of differently colored dabs made by point-contact of brush. Other paintings by Diana include images of women and animals in abstract perception. Depending on lighting, images are alternating but nobody, even the author proper, can say what has been depicted on a canvas. It is the responsibility of a viewer to define an idea of a canvas depending on his ability to conceive things in abstracto. Diana holds that in the course of creative work she shifts from initial idea to another one due to color scheme.

It has to be kept in mind that the market of works of art is stagnant. Paintings are none other than non-essential goods. Canvases are bought by the rich to decorate their offices and rooms, and foreigners, in turn, are seeking to take home paintings notable for elements of Azerbaijani national art. Demand for painter"s labor is scanty; a buyer looks for a big name, not quality of work.

It is not a mere coincidence that in an effort to obtain fame some painters are engaged in falsifications. In particular, they are peddling misinformation that their works are exhibited at non-existent European art galleries. An emphasis is laid on painter"s name being repeatedly mentioned in press and mass media. In so doing, works of painters of this sort are sold irrespective of their genuine value. The main thing is that a painter"s name be familiar to everybody.

It is worth reminding that the cost of canvases is accounted for not so much by art market as by views of rich buyers on prices for works of art.

Note that Diana and Rafail find it difficult to specify a dominant trend in modern art of Azerbaijan. "As a matter of fact, it"s rather difficult to say anything specific about country"s painters as a whole; however, there is a very strong Apsheron school, including Rasim Babayev, Javad Mirjavadov, Togrul Narimanbekov, Tair Salahov...At present, there is no portraiture art in Azerbaijan as was in the Middle Ages. I cannot say anything about a general trend in the development of art in Azerbaijan. Any painter has a chance to become trendy tomorrow, so it is impossible to forecast a new star. There is no single trend; however, the lack of trend is not chaos. There cannot be a single trend among painters. It is quite possible that there is the one to indulge market requirements but it"s not me", R. Aliyev noted.

Should a canvas sale arise, wouldn"t it be appropriate to create painting with due regard for market demand?

- Every painter does a painting to his own liking, without market preferences. A commissioned work and the creative activity are different things. The creativity is none other than intuition while an artistic component of a commissioned work is material used only. With money in your mind, you"ll never write verses, Rafail maintains.

In turn, Diana explains the following: Rafail is always in quest of new images that he endeavors to develop in his next canvas.

"It is a gallery dealer that is responsible for selling paintings. Quite recently, a gallery dealer sold a portrait. He told me that if the portrait had national color, it would be sold promptly, for foreigners do not want to buy a European canvas in Baku. Perhaps, I"d create a national ornament on a painting.

Each of my work is my child. A viewer may object as saying that a nose or an eye on a portrait bears no resemblance to original. It is his own responsibility to see things differently than a painter does. If a buyer is unwilling to buy a painting because of wrong nose or eye, a painter keeps loving his child ", painter Rafail Aliev quoted an idea of creator"s supreme right over buyer"s option.

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