Interview with the youngest member of the leading art galleries
The Azerbaijani painter Narmin Azimzada developed her extraordinary skills from Azerbaijan to Turkey and Germany. Born in 1994 in Baku, she received her undergraduate degree from Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts and is now completing her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts at Kocaeli University in Turkey. The youngest member of multiple art galleries, Narmin’s wall is decorated with over twenty certificates of participation and appreciation from various art organizations.
Influenced by renowned artists, such as Sakit Mammadov and Eldar Omarov, Narmin always felt the need to be a painter although she comes from a family that is more geared towards business rather than art.
We had an enlightening conversation with Narmin about the importance of perspectives, intuition and focus in artist’s work.
Question: Why did you choose art?
Answer: I have always been painting and drawing ever since I remember myself as a child. I have always been stubborn and passionate about painting even though my immediate family and surrounding were not very encouraging about my aspirations of a painter. But I was lucky enough to be exposed to nation’s leading artists at a young age. Painting has always been a refuge to go to. My paintings have always been a way to engage with myself to bring something out.
Question: What do you like to convey in your paintings?
Answer: I like to imagine everything I want convey before I put it into a white canvas. I usually have all the colors and things that I want to see in my head while I think about inspiration. I need to imagine a certain feeling, image or experience before I put it on the canvas. Once I do, I work with monochrome tones and soft color transitions to convey the experience to the viewer.
Question: What is your working process? How does it start and where is the end?
Answer: Definitely inspiration. Inspiration is always the starting point. In fact, I need to be inspired by an idea, experience or feeling over and over again to be able to start thinking through the style or colors that I think are best to deliver the painting.
I also take my time collecting sources for the ideas in my head. The process is actually very intuitive and not rational. You can’t take a decision about what exactly you will be painting. It’s rather an intuitive process and can take several tries before I finish my art.
Question: You have your undergraduate and graduate degrees in art. Do you think art education is limiting the freedom you had when you were younger? Does art education support the complexity that comes with becoming a mature artist or not?
Answer: Absolutely not. I think education is very important. I moved to a residency in Turkey a couple of years ago to start my Master’s in Arts at Kocaeli University and that move has completely changed my life. Graduate studies in art had a huge impact on me and my work, and that was a positive thing. I had a chance to get exposed to the philosophy of art and learned from the leading professors and other artists. That only brought more into my art because I have also learned to filter everything I’ve been getting exposure to.
Question: Do you paint fast? How long does it take you to complete a painting from start to finish?
Answer: It really varies. Some paintings I can finish very fast if I work on it once or twice while others can take weeks to finish. It all depends on what I want to achieve or convey and whether I feel that sense of completion. Sometimes I give up completely if I’m not happy with the painting.
Question: Have you ever destroyed a painting you were not happy with?
Answer: Oh yeah, that happened many times before (laughs)
Question: How do you share your work with the audience or the viewers?
Answer: Mainly through exhibitions and art galleries that I’m a part of. I’ve so far participated in over twenty national and international art exhibitions. It is the feedback that I look forward at these exhibitions that solidifies my commitment and passion about art.
Question: Speaking of exhibitions, you have participated at an impressive number of exhibitions so far. Which one you consider the most memorable and why?
Answer: Honestly, I value and appreciate every single exhibition I have had the honor to be part. I’ve had unique interactions with either art curators, art lovers, fellow artists or renowned painters at each of these exclusive gatherings, which impacted me and my work in one way or another. But I guess the most memorable is the Galerie Berlin-Baku exhibition in Berlin where I had the privilege to compete with 117 other extraordinary artists from Germany and Azerbaijan and our work was judged by the jury of painters and artists that I worshipped growing up. I won the first place and that was an extraordinary experience and validation of my work.
Answer: My art is usually on display and available for sale at the galleries that I’m a member of. Although galleries are the main channel to obtain my work, I do make some of them available on the website as well. I started selling my paintings since I was a freshman in college and prices have varied between $900 up to $7000-$8000.
Question: You have accomplished so much for such a young age. What’s the long-term ambition?
Answer: Thank you. I definitely see myself opening my own gallery that will support young and extraordinary talents. I have had the privilege to be supported by the nation’s leading artists growing up so I would definitely want to move forward on a path that would allow me to show the same support for others. That said, I see conventional art community being a bit skeptical or risk-averse when it comes to unusual talents that try to break down the walls of the expected in art. My aspiration is to seek out exactly those rebellious talents because change and innovation is the only way to continue to grow the art industry.