A simple pencil?

Sometimes in the middle of summer it is useful to remember the winter, sometimes silence means much more than words, and in the black and white gamut there is much more mood, warmth and emotions than in the whole palette of bright colors. Black and white masterpieces dedicated to peace and quiet, as well as the beauty that we will see if we look around and open our eyes wider.

Guram Dolendzhashvili was born on March 9, 1943 in Kutaisi. His post-war childhood was not sweet - his father disappeared in the war, sweltering poverty and the lack of his own home ... Little Guram was raised and taken to people by his mother, Nino Dogonadze, who worked as a nurse for 48 rubles a month. They had enough money just enough to count pennies from paycheck to paycheck - but the mother believed that Guram would be an artist, and found in herself the strength and means to support in him the craving for drawing.

Guram got his first pencil back in kindergarten, and soon became the best in the classroom for drawing. He was loved, praised and pampered as a little artist, sometimes freeing even from garden works - only he would draw.Pencil and album was always with him. And he drew, drew, drew ...

When i was praisedI wanted to draw even better. Even then, my fate was determined. I did not hesitate a moment in choosing: to be or not to be an artist? Of course, be! ...

After graduation, it was necessary to choose: either draw or eat nourishingly. Guram decided to enter the Tbilisi Academy of Arts, and his uncle offered to change his mind about something well paid at the local garment factory (out of these factories, the first Soviet-Georgian millionaires subsequently appeared). But mom found the courage to say - “No! Guram will study and become a good artist! ” And Guram was in the Tbilisi Academy of Arts, in the workshop of Lado Grigolia.

Learning was fun and hard. Honestly, we, the students, just starved. Nevertheless, the years at the Academy of Arts are unforgettable. Then, in the 60s, new trends appeared in the creative environment. Many students imitated impressionists, surrealists, etc. For me it was not acceptable ...

Guram sought to be the first. I didn’t want it, I didn’t hope it, - namely I strove, participating in all possible competitions and exhibitions.

... sure to become an artist №1. Even at the Academy I had a nickname "First." And in later life I did not retreat - I received awards and prizes for victories in various competitions. I was so used to being the first, that once, when at the All-Union competition for the prize of the Week newspaper, I was awarded the second prize, I was upset ...

The aspiration was noted by the USSR Ministry of Culture in 1967 - it concluded with him, the only student from all the republics of Transcaucasia, an agreement to create a number of works for the all-Union exhibition - these linocuts became his thesis work. This same desire repeatedly led him to the All-Union group “Artists to the Fleet of the North”. He visited and painted on Kamchatka, on Sakhalin and the Kuriles, on the White Sea and Dagestan, for months without being at home, returning with a pack of sketches, drawings and photographs.

In a relatively short timeI had a lot to try. Many times I got soaked to the skin from sweat, rain and icy sea waves, once I even sank, at other times I seemed hopelessly lost, but fate gave me such exotic spectacles and exciting impressions that only happy people share.

I went to the walrus with the Eskimos,he climbed up on the carcass of the sperm whale, visited the thick of the bird market, wandered through the cemetery of the whale, heard the barking of thousands of foxes ... And was always amazed by the pictures of nature that opened before me. How could such a beauty be created ?!

The works of this period are almost not included in this collection, since they do not yet have that winter Guramov space and “magic”. But the most curious can find them here. Guram also had color works, ordinary oil painting.

- and after the academy I continued to work in oils, the paintings were average, like many. And at some point I realized: this is not mine ...

Then one day the Union of Artists gave him a creative trip to Yakutia. It was there that Guram first found his own, and felt in himself that which later made him an acknowledged master ...

The space I discovered in the North.The concept of space, the skills of transmitting its depth are taught in any art school, but for many it still remains a background abstraction, and only a few manage to truly open it and become artistically aware of it. When I flew to the North by plane, I felt its grandiose perspective for the first time; the planetary nature, the roundness of the Earth; saw the light merge into darkness, the day with the polar night.There before me there were real snows, and I wanted to make large sheets, where there would be a lot of sky and snow ...

Guram begins to draw snow, sky and Georgia. Ideology, hegemon and proletariat are slowly disappearing from the works, and a soul appears in them. Guram ceases to fight for peace, peace and tranquility themselves begin to radiate from his winter paintings.

Together with the first Imereti snows, Guram succeeds, he regularly presents the USSR at international graphic exhibitions - the first prize in Varna (1985) and in 1988 he opens the Baghdad Art Festival. Life slowly begins to flow with milk and honey - Guram's works are regularly exhibited and printed in the press with millions of copies - for example, this etching appeared at the turn of the May Day issue of the Week magazine.

He is trusted to do work for all-Union exhibitions without the permission of the artistic council, and even without previewing sketches.

Before adjustmentin creative and psychological terms, one might say, life was normal. He traveled where he wanted, painted what he wanted. In the material sense? It was terrible. I would say that artists who lived in the Soviet Union and were engaged only in creative work could not exist normally - they had to find some sort of “hack”.For example, arrange a restaurant, daub banners for demonstrations commissioned by the city authorities or draw the face of a politburo member.

So talented artists,who graduated from the Academy of Arts, for years engaged in various side jobs to get a house and a workshop. But it turned out that when they finally settled in decently, they found that they either didn’t want or simply couldn’t draw. Excitement to engage in creativity lost, dried up. I avoided that. Maybe I had enough willpower, and I stubbornly followed my dream: “While I live, you need to do something unusual to leave a mark on this planet.”

At that very Soviet time, the “artist”, especially the one that was printed, sometimes earned ten times more than a regular engineer. Having issued one children's book, for example, 12 illustrations, plus a cover, another artist received as much as an engineer for almost a year of his daily work. Again, they had creative business trips and workshops, which representatives of other professions did not have. The state itself paid for the training of artists, therefore if you are a genius - create and sell, and live it, and if not, or just eat the hunt - so do something socially useful.Draw up a restaurant, draw a fresco for the local station ... Above the artists in the payroll were only directors and authors of theatrical plays.

In the eighties, Guram’s exhibitions go one by one, sometimes several a year, from Switzerland to Angola, from Tiksi Bay to Australia and even Nicaragua. At that Soviet time, the recognition of the artist by the country meant his own workshop and participation in foreign exhibitions.

Guram becomes recognized, the Kutaisi Automobile Plant takes patronage over him, arranging his first own workshop in the attic, and promising to build a new and complete one, under which land is allocated here. But then the Soviet Union began to shake the first death hiccups, it breaks up into separate republics, in which devastation happens here. The light begins to disappear, then they rob the workshop, and Guram decides to move to Russia ...

I do not think that I am in exile. Russia is my homeland. I am a citizen of Russia, enjoy social benefits as a Muscovite. I can not divide the two Orthodox people. In addition, the Georgians accept almost everyone as their own. ... In the days of the Soviet Union, we all lived together and thought that Russia was our country and our home. Personally, I have a special, warm attitude towards Russia.

Now Guram has dual citizenship, he is an Honored Artist of Georgia and an honorary academician of the Russian Academy of Arts. And despite the humiliating persecution of Georgians that happened once in Russia, he still believes in Russia.

Leave Russia forever not going.I have a feeling that there are no such magnificent and warm people, such intelligentsia as in Russia, in other countries. I can not forget these people, they helped me in difficult times. We can say that they saved me and my work.

And the main recipe for success: - strive to be the first, and love what you do!

Artist in soy workshop, Kutaisi, 1979.

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