The Harmony of Mind and Imagination

One does not choose friends, you just become friends. Among people living in a certain social environment, depending on individual artistic interests, a specific spiritual atmosphere develops, which unites people regardless of their age, nationality and character. This is what had happened to us -Ruzi Charyev, Vladimir Burmakin, E. Melnikov, Y. Taldykin and G. Zilberman. We were drawn to each other, missed each other and lived on ideas and ideals born in our souls and minds.

Life has scattered us away. At some point in time we got lost in the kaleidoscope of time, and some (Charyev and Taldykin) we lost forever.

Such cruel destiny of human life makes one treasure and cherish the remaining friendships ever more, as the gift of fortune, to carry on and realize ideas, thoughts and dreams that have not come true.

It is no secret that of my friends the closest to me is Vladimir Burmakin, whose philosophic and ethical judgement, rational mind and the intensity of creative urge and aspiration are the most appealing to me; I met him in 1969 at his personal exhibition in the House of Knowledge.

As all artists, Burmakin draws energy and inspiration from nature. He is gifted with powerful imagination, keen aesthetic sense and ability to boldly draw and construct a model with unexpected blots of paints. Besides, he is also a thinker-artist, a philosopher-artist, an experimenting artist always preoccupied with contemplating a mysterious reciprocal influence of the real and surreal, conscious and subconscious, old and new, beautiful and ugly, good and evil, light and dark, life and death in nature, in a human being and in society.

True artists are called to create a harmony of phenomena in a chaotically existing nature, to organize them aesthetically as a manifestation of the essence of beauty. To do this, they sometimes have to break away, as Vasiliy Kandinskiy put it, "from a despotic control of their consciousness" and plunge into the abyss of imagination-ocean. According to Burmakin, the job of the artist is "to create new nature, to extract an impetuous fantasy from the depths of the unconscious, fusing it with the unrestrained brew of paints into the canvas that is holding the onslaught and the aggression.

The canvas is painted, another real non-reality is created that can be touched, felt, sniffed, eyed into all the corners of sinuous and infinite forms, it can be turned upside down if you wish, put on its right or left side, thus creating an impulse to a completely new sensation, following which one can again sail this unparalleled ocean of fantasy".

For many decades Burmakin's artistic creed enabled him to create different - in terms of character, genre and scale-paintings, graphic and monumental works. He is a regular participant of exhibitions held domestically and abroad in - Russia, the UK, France, America, Germany, Bulgaria, Turkey and Poland. His works are kept in many museums, art galleries and private collections worldwide. In Germany, near Cologne where he occasionally travels to for creative work, the gallery of ECU-hotel in Hummersbach city collected about 200 pieces wrought by the artist.

Artists by character and profession are restless people. They cannot not be commanded, forced or controlled. For them freedom is a gift of fortune and a natural state of existence.

Among the artist of Uzbekistan who ignited the spark of passion for travels was Abdulkhak Abdullaev. Following in his step, Ruzi Chariev and Vladimir Burmakin also began to travel the world. Observing the world opened to them the unexplored mysteries of civilizations and helped them better understand a human being, his historical past and mysterious future.

Burmakin's trips to France, Austria, Switzerland, Morocco, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Bulgaria, Cuba and America were not merely tourist diversions. This was a serious search for oneself in this world full of controversies.

Vladimir Burmakin's gift is manifest in all his works. Monumental quality is inherent not only in his paintings; it shows in a number of works related to architectural complexes of Tashkent city. These are the relief dficor on the fa3ade of the Palace of the Friendship of Peoples, design of the Pakhtakor underground station, mosaic and murals in the "Trudovye Reservy" sports complex, paintings on the fa3ade of Zarafshan restaurant, the mosaics of the Tashkent race course, decoration of the Tashkent airport and the new Senate building, etc.

The Honorary worker of arts of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in 1997 Vladimir Burmakin was elected full member of the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan. He remains true to himself and his "volcanic" artistic nature. His next personal exhibition titled "The Extravagances of COMPUFO" that was held in March 2007 at the Exhibition Hall of the Academy of Arts demonstrated that the artist was discovering and registering a new area in the history of art - "The Art of COMPUFO". This area and the name are perceived differently by artists and viewers: with surprise, reservation, elation, vexation, admiration, etc., but most importantly, never with indifference.

What is it? Is it a personal and purely individual vision and attitude towards the world of man and art, or does it contain something that is unwonted at the present level of artistic thinking? What is it? A response to scientific and technological progress of the humankind and the inclusion of this progress into the artistic flow of creation?.. Or is it a manifestation of Burmakin's play of imagination that reflects exclusively the artist's personal fancies and ambitions?

Thinking about the new phase in the art of Vladimir Burmakin at the beginning of the 21st century I recall 1960s and the atmosphere among the expert committee members who were to commission the murals on the fa3ade of Zarafshan restaurant. The committee members divided into two groups. Some believed the mural an example of a formalistic interpretation of the idea, while the others argued that this was a new achievement in the monumental painting in Uzbekistan. At that time it was hard for me to convince the committee members that Burmakin and his team were pushing the boundaries and potential of monumental artistic interpretation of the idea and that it was the art of the future that should not be obstructed, as it had the prospects of further development and expansion of artistic thinking, and so on.

Today, almost 40 years on, Vladimir Burmakin stands before us as the founder of a new trend in the world's art, which also requires a serious look upon it.

The process of globalization of computer thinking has set a new dilemma before the artists: either to remain at the stage of stereotypical image-creation, or build on and use non-standard forms of artistic cognition.

Burmakin's new pieces called "The Extravagances of COMPUFO" appeared as a result of a new interpretation and appreciation of creative potential of the 21 century man, which essentially lies in the use of new technology for creating new artistic and aesthetic values.

Items displayed at the exhibition primarily represent a new kind of art where the artist can be free to the maximum and is not afraid to transform his models, cultivate selected parts and details, and abstract himself within the limits of human imagination.

In his compositions the artist creates an unusual, to an ordinary view, condition, and expresses the element of a new fantasy, thus introducing a person into the unusual reality. With growing perception and realization of the condition, the elements and parts of the whole, the non-reality gradually becomes reality and a solution for a certain artistic and aesthetic problem.

"The Awakening", "Plastic Study", "Samarqand: Bibi Khanum", "Night in Khiva" (Self-portrait), "In Adam's Garden", "In the Glow of Moony Night", "The Ascension of Salvador" and hundreds of other canvases by Vladimir Burmakin demonstrate that whereas surrealists, Salvador Dali, for example, created such works with their mind's eye, the new technology, according to the artist, enables doing it quickly and easily. In a peculiar way Burmakin's new art brings together a computer, photography and intellect of the 21st century man.

This combination of technological capabilities enables transformation of expressive motifs, selection of presentation media, and gives an opportunity to carry over, intensify or decrease form dynamics. Whereas in the conventional practice an artist can do with five colours (black, white, red, blue and yellow) to create a canvas, the new technique with its sixteen thousand shades offers great opportunity for the diversity of aspects, colour variations, etc. Thus the artist can achieve the uncommonness of his composition and its aesthetic perception.

The "COMPUFO" trend has good development prospects in terms of providing solutions for plastic and formalistic problems. First, having this kind of art available, any artistically and aesthetically educated individual can practice art, just like photography has become part of our everyday life, Second, an individual with artistic education and aesthetic sense can express everything in his works, from completely naturalistic to absolutely abstract forms.

If one observes the new "COMPUFO Art" of Vladimir Burmakin, one can notice not only what had been achieved by the artist until that moment, but also those peculiarities of his character and art that make him stand out as bold experimentalist of intrepid imagination.

Canvases by Vladimir Burmakin that breath the youthfulness of soul and creativity of mind give their viewers an emotional and intellectual charge, inspiring optimistic mindset about the future.

The artist says, "My new canvases, on the one hand, are the result of my close attention to everything new that occurs in human civilization; on the other hand, they are the form of consolation, a play and passion about art nature in this complex and conflicting world. We can only dream about tranquillity. Perpetual and continuous play of fantasy should one day come out and show the results of a demonic freedom of spirit. For the great art is born through the great game of fantasy and intellect. The one who does not rule this game will forever remain in the confinement of natural and social phenomena. My enthusiasm about and the creation of "COMPUFO Art" canvases does not mean that I will trade the smell of paints against computer screen. These two aspects of creative search merge somewhere and somewhere they diverge, yet in the overall round dance of my work they enable me to more fully sense the beautyofthisworld, of human body, spirit and imagination".

Tilab Makhmudov


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