The artist Timur D'Vatz. Satish Kumar /
Who is Timur D'Vatz?
Feb 5, 2013
Timur D'Vatz was born in Moscow but he completed his
studies at the Republican College of Art in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He
subsequently studied in the postgraduate programme at London's Royal
Academy and has been awarded a number of accolades including the BP
Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2002.
His work has been described as fused with medieval symbols and
legends and its modernist form has a vibrancy of colour.
is based in history but I am conscious of bringing it into
contemporary reality," he says. "It is modern work with reference to
the ancient elements of history. In this way I am creating my own
mythology based on my own imagination and what I read in books and
from places I travel."
that he was proud to be exhibiting for the first time in the region,
D'Vatz continues: "Dubai is a huge dream, a modern fantasy. There
are references to different cultures everywhere and I think it is
that mixed crowd that brings about a utopian situation. I hope I can
bring something new to what is already here."
ArtintheCity Speak to Artist Timur DíVatz
regarded as one of Central Asiaís most successful figurative
painters, Russian born Timur DíVatz is currently celebrating his
solo debut in the Middle East, with the exhibition entitled 'Myths
and Legends' at Alif Art Gallery. Timurís exhibition continues until
the end of March 2013, with new works being introduced during the
week of Art Dubai, and ArtintheCity's contributing writer Pamella de
Leon caught up with him for a quick chat.
Congratulations on your debut solo exhibition in the Middle East.
How do you feel?
I feel really
delighted about the exhibition. For me, every solo exhibition is a
result/achievement of a certain research and at the same time the
turning point, which makes you think of a new direction.
inspirations are an interesting mix of ancient history, early
Byzantine art, medieval tapestries and mythology. What is it about
them that attracts you?
All of these
things are an artistic representation of historical reality. With
Byzantine art and tapestries, I love the colours and highly stylized
representation of the images.
There is a
surreal feel of Central Asian sufi philosophy and vibrant colors of
orientalist paintings in your works, as well as ancient myths and
legends as core elements in your painting. What motivated you to
work with these components?
and interest in mythology helps me to develop my inner self.
and Legends, why did you focus on the subject of the hunt as a
metaphor that represents the quest, the journey and search for inner
knowledge and self discovery?
There is a dynamic
movement in the chase. For me, this subject finds its fullest
presentation through the symbolism of a quest.
bodies demonstrating the
of movement within a static image seems to be a pivotal subject in
your works. Why do you enjoy this subject and style?
As an artist, you are
drawn to particular themes or subjects or periods of art and
history, which help to express your own ideas.
explain to us your work process when creating a painting?
Every painting is
a link in my on-going research. I see the paintings not as
individual works but more as a collection of ideas surrounding a
Do you see
yourself focusing on a culture other than Central Asia in your
I am generally
interested in history and therefore ancient cultures. Being raised
in Central Asia, which historically was a part of the Silke Route,
helped me to see the colourful mix of cultures on a journey between
East and West.
Born in Moscow,
Russia in 1968, Timur first studied at the Republican College of Art
in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and from there he was established as an
artist. He subsequently studied under the post-graduate programme at
the Royal Academy in London. Timur has been Awarded Jack Goldhill
and Sir James Walker prizes. He is a Central Asian artist who fuses
ancient legends and symbols with modernist form and vibrant colours.
Figurative and emblematic, his paintings show elongated bodies
demonstrating the exhilaration of movement within a static image.
He was awarded the
Guinness Prize for ĎThe First Time Exhibitorí at the Royal Academy
of Arts Summer Exhibition (1994). He received the BP Portrait Award
at the National Portrait Gallery in London (2002). Timur has shown
at the Opera Gallery Paris (2006), Venice (2007), Dubai (2008) and
Singapore (2009). He has also shown at the Modigliani Centre in
Florence (2002) and recently had a solo exhibition at Londonís
Cadogan Contemporary (2012).
Founded by Natalya
Andakulova Alif Art Gallery is located at Damac Park Tower, part of
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Alif Art Gallery is the
first gallery in the Gulf to focus primarily on Central Asiaís
contemporary visual arts and will show commercial and non-commercial
exhibitions. The gallery represents emerging and established artists
from Uzbekistan and Central Asia, and has a goal to promote the
understanding of the rich Central Asian culture and reflect the
regionís long-standing heritage through an educational programme of
exhibitions, talks, workshops and tours.
West Dean College