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Painting / Sculpture

Aladdin Garunov

    Aladdin Garunov (1956) was born in the village of Ukuz, Kurakh district of the Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. After graduating from high school in 1974, he entered the Makhachkala Pedagogical Institute at the Faculty of Graphic Arts. After a year of study, he was expelled for not attending classes that he considered unnecessary for an artist. For two years he served as a regiment artist in the USSR Armed Forces in the group of Soviet troops in the GDR. Upon completion in 1977, he moved to Moscow. He settled as a mechanic at the ZIL factory but was immediately transferred to the position of artist-designer. In his free time, he attended preparatory courses at the Stroganov Moscow School of Industrial Art (hereinafter referred to as Stroganovka). In 1980, he entered the department of artistic processing of metal at Stroganovka. During his studies, he decided to search for his own path in art, relying on the achievements of the Russian and European avant-garde of the early twentieth century, as well as the experience of American artists at the school of New York. After graduation, according to his wife’s distribution, he moved to Sergiev-Posad. He joined the local union of artists. Having met the local director of the Research Institute for the production of rubber products, made it possible for him to use this material in his work. In 1991, rubber began to appear in his work, yet it was just one of the components of his complex installations that combined materials such as metal, plastic, carpet, fur, resin. According to the artist, the natural materials present in his work refer our consciousness to the origin, to our roots… For a long time, Aladdin Garunov kept away from Moscow’s art-beau monde, nonetheless his talent was soon recognized. The artist became finalist for two Kandinsky awards in 2010 and 2012. After that he successfully collaborated with Aidan Sakhalova, Marat Gelman and many others… He participated in numerous exhibitions and art fairs, including: Art Miami, Art Dubai, Art Paris, Art Southampton, Venice Art Fair, Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art... In his work, Aladdin Garunov organically combines a contemporary postmodern view with elements of traditional Dagestan culture, where he was born and raised. The themes in the works of Garunov are varied: from spiritual practises, referring to the origins, to inner experiences and anxieties of modern man, immersed in the space of a big city. His works are laconic and at the same time unusually spectacular and decorative, carrying a great emotional message. “The art of the past is not useful as a lesson one should follow. The most important thing in art are the thoughts of its creator, who did not oppose himself to nature, but rather lived in union with it. The task of a modern artist is not to engage in self-admiration or in a game of intellectual heaps, where the essence of the simplest concepts is distorted to the extent where it is difficult to grasp the contours of the foundation that make up a human being, but in addressing the Earth itself in its cosmic understanding, on a new coil, taking into account the time and psychology of modern man. Having reached a high material standard of living, people are terrified of losing it. In the absence of deep spiritual traditions, the success achieved by people in the material and technical progress gives them the illusion of intellectual growth and freedom. At the same time, the majority does not suspect that such a definition as “intellect” refers to the spiritual metaphysical experience, opposed to the primitive education sphere and the progress that modern man is so gratified with inevitably brings him closer to the edge of the abyss and does not free his mind from endless fears. So to say, the modern man has not advanced a single step from that of a primitive man. He, who knows the truth, is absolutely calm and free.” Aladdin Garunov