Winter 2001 (9.4)
Talks About the Cover
I've always been interested
in ancient cultures as depicted in the ancient monuments of Egypt,
Sumer and Babylonia. For a long time I was trying to think how
to paint some of the ancient legends, myths of these ancient
cultures. I didn't quite know how to do it. Then, quite by chance
in the summer of 1998, my sons were building a sand tower down
at the beach at Mardakan, not far from Baku. As soon as I saw
it, the concept of abandoned towns rising from the earth, ancient
towers, and people came to life as if they were real. In a very
short time, I finished painting four fairly large-sized canvases
on this theme.
"The Tower of Babel" is one of them. According to this
legend from the Bible, arrogant people began constructing a huge
tower that they wanted to reach to heaven. But God confounded
their language so that they were not able to understand one another.
Consequently, work on the Tower was stopped and the people were
scattered to different parts of the earth. The construction of
the Tower was never finished...
Above: "Trapped in the
Web of the Past" by Hamza Abdullayev, oil on canvas, 120
x 89 cm, 1999.
Where to Where," by Hamza Abdullayev, oil on canvas, 85
x 64 cm, 1999
It wasn't difficult for me to bring this legendary tower to life
on canvas. There are many ancient towers and minarets that "reach
the sky" in my lovely Absheron peninsula. In fact, somehow
my Tower of Babel looks like the medieval tower in Mardakan,
and the fortress walls remind me of the Inner City [Ichari Shahar]
I think that the legend of the Tower of Babel dramatically symbolizes
one of the major problems that we face today. Do people think
so differently today than they did back then? The savage actions,
ethnic wars and terrorist acts that have taken place within this
past decade and even within the past few months, are they not
vivid examples of people's arrogance, misplaced pride and fanaticism?
Left: "Whirlwind of the
Century," by Hamza Abdullayev, oil on canvas, 90 x 79 cm,
Right: Cover of Azerbaijan
International magazine, Winter 2001 (AI 9.4), by Hamza Abdullayev
An artist cannot change the world, but he can speak of universal
truths through the medium of his paints and brushes and, thereby,
help cultures meet each other across territorial boundaries and
across the ages of time.
Note: An interview
is featured alongside some of his vividly colored art works in
our Summer 1999 issue, "Colors
of the Century", AI 7.2. SEARCH at AZER.com. Additional samples of his work can be
viewed at AZgallery.org. Contact Hamza at his
studio: (994-12) 75-37-17, or home: (994-12) 95-67-15.
(9.4) Winter 2001.
© Azerbaijan International 2002. All rights reserved.
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