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10:32 22 June
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Tahir Salahov: An artist gets applauses 500 years later- INTERVIEW

Baku. Lachin Sultanova – APA. Tahir Salahov, vice-president of Russian Academy of Arts, Hero of Socialist Labor, people’s artist of Russia and Azerbaijan, corresponding member of the San Fernando Royal Academy of Fine Arts and French Academy of Fine Arts celebrates his 80th birthday.
Great artist gave interview to APA on the occasion of his birthday.

-Where will your jubilee events be held after Baku?

-I was born in Baku on November 29, 1928 and I will celebrate my jubilee together with my friends in Baku on November 29. I will have guests from Russia, France, US, Germany and other countries. Legendary designer Pierre Cardin is also among my guests. We are members of French Academy of Fine Arts. I became the member of the academy in 1986. I have also been offered to organize exhibitions in the halls of Ekaterina Cultural Foundation. On January 15 exhibition and jubilee event will be held there. Events will also be held in foreign countries.

-Is 80 years enough for an artist to express his outlook?

-Titian (one of the great artists of the Renaissance, Italian – editor) created his best works at the age of 90. The activity of an artist is self-sacrificing work. I think artists are the most self-sacrificing people. They always work alone and sometimes they find fame after their death. To my mind an artist gets applauses 500 years later.

-When did you open the door to fame?

-I represented the USSR in the Venice Biennale (most famous contemporary art exhibition – editor) in 1962. I represented the Soviet fine arts with my individual exhibition. I was 34 then. There I exhibited my works “Repairmen”, “Moscow at dawn”, portraits Gara Garayev, “Oilman” and still life. Participating in Biennale means a great prestige. Italian media published articles about it and later Soviet media republished them. Now I remember those years again.

-Where are preserved these works now?

-In different museums. About 40 of my painting and graphic works are preserved in Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. I am happy that Gara Garayev’s portrait is also among them. The Trateyakov Gallery is always displaying this portrait at the international exhibitions. These works are chosen by the curators of exhibitions. The Gara Garayev’s portrait was among the 270 works of nine centuries preserved in Russian museums and displayed at the exhibition in New York dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the United Nations. Then it was exhibited in Bilbao Museum. “Absheron Women”, portraits of Shostakovich, Rostropovich, Fidan Gasimova and my other works are preserved in the Tretyakov Gallery. If the work is preserved in the museum or in the private collection, it means that this work is living. My works are preserved in the United States, Japan, China and other countries where my individual exhibitions were organized.

-What your works are kept abroad concretely?

-I will tell you something what many people have no idea about. I led the establishing of Ataturk and Salvation Battle museum at the Ataturk Mausoleum in Ankara in 2002. Turkish and Russian artists, including my students were involved in this group. We worked there more than a year and created nearly 30 works about Ataturk’s life and activity, his victories and establishing of Turkish Republic and three dioramas of 40 m length and 8 m width, which described Sakarya and Chanakkale battles and other important historical events determined the Turkey’s future. We were awarded with various prizes and diplomas at the opening of this museum.

-Why there were no reports about it?

-We returned from Turkey’s awarding ceremony to Baku and attended the Muslim Magomayev’s anniversary here and at the meeting with Heydar Aliyev I told him that I arrived from Turkey. He was informed about our activity in Turkey and told me: “I was told that you have done great work there. We will meet later and talk about it”. I told him that I will necessarily tell him about our work. Later he left for treatment. I thought that if I informed the press about it, Heydar Aliyev would read it and think that Tahir didn’t wait for me. I wanted to inform Heydar Aliyev first and therefore I didn’t talk about it to anyone. But the fate ordered otherwise. Heydar Aliyev passed away and I couldn’t talk with him about my work. Just for that reason many people don’t know about my works in the Ataturk museum.

-Your workshop recognizes a museum, cultural center. Has this workshop any status?

-I have worked here for 16 years. I put everything in order here. I have left my works in Baku. I do not want any status. It is the first time that I have received journalists here. I have not received anybody during previous years. I want to receive my guests coming to the jubilee. I have learned it from popular musician Firudin Shushinsky. He has written a book about national musical instruments before Karabakh developments and by this way he replied our enemy. He had several problems after it. I drew his portrait during difficult times. It was the first time that I have seen musical instruments, photos and history of life in his home. It was instructive and I decided to establish such background on my life.

-Azerbaijan loses its world-renowned geniuses as times passes. Why does not anybody substitute for them?

-We should look at everything positively. Azerbaijan gave talented men to the world every time. We have young excellent artists and sculptors at present. I am Chairman of State Commission in Academy of Art and I examine bachelors and masters. We have very beautiful youth. Everything will be gradually and immediately.

-How is your attitude towards view of Baku, which is changing before eyes?

-Baku is on the eve of birth of modern city. There are many opinions on it. Sculptor Ivanitsky proposed in 1926 that Baku should be grown up in direction of Black city and its industrial part should be in Garadag. The idea is realized at present. I approach to changes optimistically.





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