…I often ask myself:
„Which material is most suitable?“
Every material is as delicate as human thought. If the material and thought could match,
A serious one.
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.
International Confederation of Art Critics
The Timeless Grace of Visual Poetry
Vejdi Rashidov’s sculptures are intensely expressive and can be described as abstract or expressionist, each sculpture being highly distinctive and saturated with new ideas, emotions and dimensions albeit always adhering to the creator’s narrative and philosophical path. The artist possesses the rare gift of been able to enthrall the viewer with an immense sense of mystery and inspire curiosity through his enigmatic artistic process. From the perspective of art history, there are clear parallels to the art of the mind, the hidden dimensions of consciousness and a connection to the inner workings of expressive intellect but it cannot be denied that there is also something wonderfully ancient about Rashidov’s work. The viewer is at times reminded of the primordial aspect of early Egyptian sculpture, elements of Greek and Roman art and even of Cycladic culture, a little known Neolithic civilisation that inhabited islands in the Aegean sea approximately 4500 years ago. There is a primeval root in Rashidov’s works that connects him to the origins of creativity and allows him to truly explore and discover the most wonderfully communicative aspects of his work. There is a sense of pure mystical fascination linked to the sculptures that instinctively attracts the audience to each and every composition as the stark contrasts connecting the forms and shapes demonstrate the artist’s spartan complexity.
Rashidov’s unique sculptural technique instantly captures one’s attention through the vivid detail and powerful movement contained within the subjects. The artworks’ unpredictable form is immensely thought-provoking and visually stimulating whilst the boldness of his approach and expressive manner proves his incredibly diverse dynamism and confirms his exquisite talent. Vejdi Rashidov has a highly expressive mind that he manages to translate impeccably well in all of his exceptional works of art. His creative imagination transports the audience to complete solemn serenity and the his passion shines through his artworks that, visible from the attention to detail, are clearly highly meaningful and important to the artist as well.
The compositions are dramatic and compelling each telling a distinct story that is captivating and eloquent. Vejdi experiments with shapes and movement conceiving breathtaking and highly recognisable sculptures with a spontaneous method of creation, an exceptionally developed technique and a very individual style. Rashidov is a bold artist that is inherently enriched by limitless facets to his artistic heritage, message and expressive spirit. The results are artworks that are truly profound and incredibly inspiring to all who view them.
International Confederation of Art Critics
Managing Director of The Louvre
For the first time I met Vejdi Rashidov in the summer of 2011 – at an exhibition, which introduced Bulgarian heritage in the Louvre.
I had already heard that he was a good Minister of Culture, a minister somewhat different from the common concept, who was firmly convinced that he should modernize and develop the Bulgarian museums. We felt a kindly feeling to each other at once. We planned promising culture projects together. It happens quite often that great ideas come into being out of friendship and mutual respect. Vejdi Rashidov impressed me not only as a minister, but mostly as a man and an artist. He is determined, unyielding, wide-awake to everything, and considerate. A person, who himself is an innovator in art and carries on, as Emil Zola put into words, “the good combat” in defense of artistic creation.
His sculptures carry the artist’s inner essence – generous, open, far from the general concept. His faces and busts, no matter how eclectic they might be, have a common feature – they cannot be merely watched, they are observed. Each of the busts attracts the eyes, rouses curiosity, awakens, provokes and a person realizes all the hard work, patience and passion that hide inside.
Each of his sculptures has been inspired by different arts, schools and epochs. It is really amusing to contemplate his art, always finding various muses, imprints of his emotions, life and encounters. His style is unique and discernible among thousands of others.
Vejdi Rashidov knows Paris well, since the time he was a student . In this connection his exhibition is a kind of home-coming. I wish him the success he deserves.
Managing Director of The Louvre
Mr. George Ekli
What I like in Rashidov is that his art is new. I do not like what we keep seeing here lately. I like seeing things different from those you find in France. That is why I was interested in Mr. Rashidov’s work, his is an expressionistic art. And at the same time figurative. Which is figurative art but with the deformations of the artist-expressionist. The French public always keeps watch over someone. Which is – people buy when they know that others like them are buying. The spontaneous French buyers are few. But if the news of someone selling in a gallery gets around, then everyone gets interested – the same when it was fashionable to possess Luis XV furniture. In France this is a kind of fashion.
There is something very important about collecting – it is like love. I see a work of art and… as if something dawns on me and I like it at first sight.
We must not try to understand and find the answer – why you like and want to buy a work of art . This is my profession.
Academic Raymond Daudet
WORLD ACADEMY OF ARTS
To a question: What can you define as new in Bulgarian sculpture? The painter Baron Renoir, President of Salon d’Automne, answered:
We live in the times оf the sign and I see the nature of the graphic. It impresses me – his graphic volumes. When we watch the works of Rashidov, we are in real captivity and we feel the urge to go round and see his work from all sides. And not, as it is often the case, watch a bust’s front only.
The sculpture makes you wish to move, captures your interest by presenting a way of deforming the human beings. It is a psychological thing and it’s very important. What I believe is that this psychological approach should be analyzed. This would be interesting.
Sure he is well placed among his colleagues. With us – artists, it is not like the tennis tournament “Roland Garros”, we are not competing for the top spot.
I have to tell you that I keep visiting Mr. Rashidov’s exhibitions and I am very impressed by the originality of his sculptures. I understand he is a very famous sculptor.
He has exhibited in many countries and has won big awards. No wonder his works merit such a great attention.
The sculpture we are looking at starts a bit like a Giacometti sculpture for the fragile form of the legs and then… the opposite – turns around in an amazing way and takes you by surprise. It is the same with the other works where we see legs reminding of animal limbs but taking you to human forms.
You have the feeling of standing in front of a kind of Chimera which is the product of the artist’s imagination. And my personal opinion is that this is an artist with exquisite imagination.