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- Near the Egyptian Sphinxes’s steps on the Neva River banks, you feel presence of the mankind thousand-year history, which these creatures brought with them. The space of the city was filled with new meaning and life, new myths and legends. Artists found new images, began to learn speaking and expressing themselves in a new way through the classical city. The city of huge squares, wide streets. dark backstreets and well courtyards; black shadows fantasy; white nights that distort reality. When I realized it all, I began creating my Mythology of the city. And I hope that it will be a worldwide language for all those who love and appreciate the city of St. Petersburg.
- Gafur Mendagaliev The Sphinx SPb / City as Artist's subjectivity. Artist's book project. Catalog. (Rus & En) — SPb: Ed. T. Markova. 2020. — 128 p. — P. 122.
Quotes about Gafur Mendagaliev
- An avant-garde artist of Leningrad, Mendagaliev’s style is naïve. Vibrant colors and thick, heavy strokes form simple scenes that feel more symbolic than real.In each painting, there are repeated motifs: a table, a chimera, women, a bird, a fish. There appears to be a story begging to be told about the city he has lived in for so long, and, perhaps, a painful one. In the paintings, faces of people look in different directions, they pull from each other, guiding the viewer’s eyes into a chaos as the sphinx overlooks it all with a sense of doom. Then, there are portraits of chimeras and demons stalking individuals on the metro, women tormented next to a table or underwater beneath a fish in flight. They have a sinister tone to them. Fantastical, but simple, Mendagaliev’s works linger in the mind and resurface in the memory of St. Petersburg as a city.
- Corinne Hughes Irina Federova and Gafur Mendagaliev at The Borey Art Center. March 28, 2012