By Laman Ismayilova
Your muse always sleeps in your soul. All you need is just to wake her up...
Where does inspiration come from? This topic is probably the most frequent questions when it comes to artists, poets, musicians and everyone who lives with art in his/her soul.
World-famous artist Nigar Narimanbayova sees inspiration in stunning surroundings of two wonderful cities - Paris and Baku. These incredibly fascinating places never cease to amaze her.
For Narimanbayova, Baku and Paris are among the most beloved and native cities. The artist, who has Azerbaijani and French roots, enjoys strolling around the streets of her native cities which are full of poetry, music and art.
"While in Paris, I like strolling around its cozy neighborhoods, sit in small cafes, listen to street musicians and make sketches in a notebook. After that I review all the work and create a new painting based on my fantasies and night dreams. I also like walking around the Old city in Baku, so dear to me. I enjoy the ancient stones of the old fortress, sitting on a bench on the shores of the gray Caspian Sea and start drawing. All the colors of my hometown turn into masterpieces, born from my feelings and fantasies," Narimanbayova said.
"For me Paris and Baku are two native and beloved cities. They are both beautiful, saturated with music, poetry and painting, these are two great cultures, that I am very proud of. While in Paris, I really miss Baku, I see it in my dreams and I create paints full of nostalgic feelings. Here I enjoy a company of my friends and relatives. I also walk around my favorite places of my childhood....Then returning to Paris, which I also miss, I pour all my Baku emotions and sentiments onto the canvas in my paintings. Therefore, my paintings brilliantly unite Azerbaijan's riot of colors and French sophistication and mystery...," she added.
Speaking about her muse, Nigar Narimanbayova noted the words once said by her father, prominent artist Vidadi Narimanbayov:
"Your muse always sleeps in your soul. All you need is just to wake her up...
As a child, Nigar painted still lifes, landscapes, portraits inspired by her poems. The young artist adored white canvas and the smell of oil paints.
At that time, her father's close friends, incredibly talented artists and writers such as Gorkhmaz Efendiyev, Sattar Bakhlulzade, Muslim Abbasov, Rauf Shashikashvili, her uncle Togrul Narimanbayov and writer Viktor Golyavkin gathered in her small apartment on Parkovaya Street and admired art works of the young artist.
"My uncle Sattar took me in his arms and said: "She will be a great artist!" Since then I have always carried this great mission in my soul...," she told Azernews.
As artists says, all her paintings comprise her fantasy stories. Her series of paintings "Childhood Dreams", which consisted of more than twenty paintings, feature fantastic creates like fairies, guardian angels shone with golden light, small cupids and much more.
The next series of paintings, the idea of which came to artist in her night dreams, was " Love Toy", which fully reflect woman's role in the world, her dreams, hopes, ups and downs. This series of paintings was successfully presented within a huge number of art projects in France and Europe, such as Salon Business Art Fair, Art en Capital, Business Art Salon and many others. Moreover, the paintings from this series were marked by honored diplomas such as "Golden Canvas 2016" (TOILE D OR 2016) for the diptych "Adagio", diploma "For creating a magical enchanting Universe" awarded by National Federation Of French Culture and other prizes.
Nigar Narimanbayova also spoke about her successful partnership with Stella Art International Association, headed by famous gallery owner and a fine art connoisseur Stella Kalinina.
The Association unites world-talented artists from around the world. Stella Kalinina highly appreciated the works of national artist and invited her to join the Association. Finally, the artist's first grand exhibition was held at Salon Business Art Fair at the Pierre Cardin Center. A series of paintings "Childhood Dreams" were a huge success and were covered in famous Parisian magazine "La Gazette des Arts".
Since then, Narimanbayova has been captivating art scene as a member of Stella Art International Association.
In her interview, Nigar Narimanbayova also shared her family story.
The artist's grandmother was French fashion designer Irma Larude, while her grandfather Yagub Farman Narimanbayov was born into a noble family, originally from Shusha.
"In 1918, my grandfather, among 100 students, was sent to the city of Toulouse to study engineering, while my grandmother studied there as a fashion designer. They finally met and it was love at first sight! They got married in 1926 in France in the city of Caen in Normandy, where the young people continued their studies. And then they had their first child - my father Vidadi Narimanbayov. After graduation, the newlyweds moved to live in Paris, where they worked and lived in the art district of Montparnasse. In 1930, my grandfather decided to return with his spouse, a Frenchwoman and the small son to his native Azerbaijan. In Baku, they had their second son, my uncle Togrul Narimanbayov...", the artist said.
"My grandfather participated in the creation of the Mingachevir hydro power plant, while grandmother sewed amazing clothes and was famous in Baku couturier. She even created a series of costumes for the first decade of Azerbaijani culture in Moscow...," she added.
However, the Bolsheviks came to power and the Stalinist repressions began to gain momentum. In 1937, the wheel of repression gained momentum and the artist's grandparents were arrested and exiled. Thus, the artist's father and his younger brother were left alone with Polish nanny, who remained devoted to the family until the end of her life. Togrul Narimanbayov promised his mother to become a great artist. And he kept his promise...
When in 1961, the artist's grandparents returned to Baku, they were very proud of their sons, who had become brilliant artists.
Speaking about her last projects, Nigar Narimanbayova mentioned the exhibition "ESPRIT DE RENCONTRE" held at the Russian Orthodox Spiritual and Cultural Center in Paris last November. Two of her beautiful paintings - "Fantasy" and "Princess" were successfully presented at the exhibition.
The painting "Fantasy" was a huge success at the exhibition in the Grand Palais and was previously presented at the Tauride Palace in St. Petersburg.
The painting "Princess" is also popular among art lovers. It was presented at ART 3F, which opened its doors at Grand Palais.
Among her last projects, Nigar Narimanbayova also noted charity exhibition which united many artists. The large-scale project, headed by incredibly talented artist Milena Nabiyeva was held in Azerbaijan for the first time.
All funds from the charity were used for the treatment of Narmina Kichibayova, who has T-cell lymphoma.
"I displayed my famous painting "Blessing" which was already popular in France. It depicts Madonna with a small guardian angel. I was happy that my painting was one of the first to be sold. Thus, I contributed to this good deed. I have promised Milena if this project is regular, I will bring my paintings to this exhibition, because helping those in need is the most important mission in the artist’s life," said Narimanbayova.
In near future, the artist will surprise her art lovers with major art projects in Paris and Baku. The upcoming exhibition will take place in Paris. Several paintings have been already finished for exhibition in Paris.
"I honesty want to present my paintings to my dear Baku audience. Fans of my work have long been asking me for this. Everyone has long dreamed of seeing my paintings and I will put an efforts to organize an exhibition in Baku probably at the end of the year as a New Year's gift to my art lovers," she said.
In conclusion, Nigar Narimanbayova addressed young artists who still have a long way to go.
"Work sincerely and reflect all your love on the canvas! Find your own style and go your own way without copying anyone. Use all your talent and energy for each art work. And then the viewers will feel all your love and creativity. Your art is priceless and necessary like a breath of fresh air...", the artist concluded.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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