Signed Javlon in Russian and dated in English '79' (lower left)
Andakulova Gallery, Dubai
Javlon Umarbekov uses art as a means of crossing thresholds between the East and the West, bridging cultural and even religious and political divides. Relying on traditional images and themes, his work exudes authenticity and verity.
Here, he employs his individual interpretation of Cubist style in bright and resonant colors while reflecting on the unique history and heritage of the Tuareg people. Inspired by his travels in the Algiers, home to some of the Tuareg people, he depicts a Tuareg family in a rich blue color. Colloquially known as the "Blue people of the Sahara" because of the color of their traditional robes and veils, the Tuaregs wear this as a symbolic and important part of their cultural identity. This blue colored garment, Tagelmust, stain their skins and lend it a bluish color emphasized here by the artist. By incorporating oriental and occidental aesthetics with a rich cultural narrative, he transforms his work into a visual vocabulary that is truly his own.
Born in 1946, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Umarbekov is one of the key figures of contemporary art in the country. He began exhibiting his works both within the Soviet Union and abroad in 1964, while still a student. In 1966, he moved to Moscow to study at the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography. After completing his studies, he returned to his hometown, where he became known for boldly crossing boundaries and abandoning the rigid norms of the past to create his original interpretation of the Uzbek heritage. A celebrated artist, Umarbekov has exhibited his art in prestigious exhibition centers and museums, both in Uzbekistan and abroad; including the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the UN headquarters in New York, the National Ukrainian Academy of Arts and the M.P. Kroshitsky Sevastopol Art Museum in Kiev, Ukraine. He was awarded the honorary title, People’s Artist of Uzbekistan in 1989 and later as an Honorary Professor of the National Ukrainian Academy of Arts in 2011. Umarbekov is an active member of the Academy of Arts of the Republic, a full member of the Academy of Arts of Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine; and is a professor at the Bekhzod National Institute of Art and Design in Tashkent.
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