How Baba Became an Artist
Shukrat is artist from Khorezm, Uzbekistan. For several years he has been living and working in Prague. Here he explains how he became an artist
The reason was a play!
Once during a particularly cold winter in 1969, when I was four years old, my father took me to a premier of a play. We received an invitation because of my uncle being a play wright. The play was about a young woman going abroad to study and her tragic death at the hands of villains.
As the curtains went up, the play began. Rays of projectors lit up the back wall of the stage, which had mountains, garden, a sky with clouds and minarets painted on it. The painting was the work of, at that time, the only woman artist in Uzbekistan Lola opa. It was done with water colors, which froze. As the play began, under the powerful light of the projectors the colors started to melt and run: minarets collapsed into the gardens, clouds dissolved and rained down onto mountains. Mountains and gardens melted together. All of this happened in a matter of two minutes.
The theater administration rushed to draw down the curtains and apologized. But for me it was an amazing piece of art. Later on in my life I saw similar images in works of Salvador Dali and Kandinski. Although when I saw their paintings in western museums I was not as impressed as I had been that winter of 1969 in the old frozen theater in Uzbekistan’s far off city of Urgench. Still now I try to capture those images in my own paintings. Collapsing minarets and mountains and gardens, vivid red, sky blue, green and golden colors all mixed up together…