The Transcendental Transformation
It is a futile task attempting to fully understand a sculptor without investigating his mind and thoughts. In fact, there is only one way to see beyond the textures and three-dimensional stimuli offered by bronze: to examine the hundreds of two-dimensional white, black and grey spontaneous gestures that allowed the statue to be conceived.
Vejdi Rashidov’s artistic roots are highly complex and infinitely rich. Aspects of Russian Realism are mixed and intertwined with Post-Impressionism, Expressionism and profound surrealism. The wealth of artistic tradition and level of novel expression is staggering and a fabulously pleasant surprise for any art lover.
Regardless of the artists innate creative energy, one would expect Rashdov’s artistic development from his days in School of Fine Arts “Ilia Petrov” in Sofia to have followed a traditional route. It is evident that Rashdov’s academic journey as well as his innate inclination towards art have pushed him towards a detailed and attentive examination of the human form. What is fascinating is the development and transformation of this observation into his uniquely personal and communicative form of art.
Rashidov’s drawings indicate influences from east and west. Some of his sketches seem as though they originate from the the Surikov Art Institute in Moscow while others are much closer to the western lines of thought and historical development. One can easily draw parallels with Toulouse-Lautrec in relation to many aspects of works as readily as one can identity elements of Schiele and Klimt. The approach to drawing is very gestural, seemingly spontaneous but with great care to be faithful to a central message. Intimacy is key to the artworks and the raw and unhindered confidence surrounding intimate and, at times, erotic elements give the artworks genuine transparency and artistic integrity. The drawings reflect a real and unrelenting drive to penetrate what lies beneath the superficial surface and this element sheds a lot of light onto Rashidov’s sculptural work.
Analysis of Rashidov’s works on paper demonstrates the artist’s approach to reality. The sketches are a journey in themselves that explore the anonymous but perennial foundation of mankind that are then reflected in more abstract, more expressive, and ultimately more powerful representations of the unmitigating realities that surround existence.