At the moment there is more and more in evidence a critical outlook, symptoms of doubt, to the basic postulates of modernity defined a century ago and finalized in The Bauhaus Manifesto (Walter Gropius, 1883 – 1969) in 1919, skepticism to “reverence to the beauty of functionality”, or an object is beautiful and functional if it sells well, skepticism to the defined philosophy of standardization which meant that the artists’ strength lies in their flexibility to the consumer, i.e. the market. This philosophy was never strictly applied in the Balkans – the egion where Vezhdi Rashidov was shaped up as an artist. And it is not because there never were objective conditions to experience at the same time, and not post factum, the principle movements in modern art. There were no conditions in the Balkans region and culture to appear Marcel Duchamp’s “ready-made” and this may prove to be one of the greatest chances for the artists of the region. For them, even for the minority who were well acquainted with the European processes and had lived in European capitals, avant-garde was always more of a historic fact in the framework of artistic life. In this part of the world the canonic concept of the esthetic has always been equated with truth, and this is valid with little exception even today. The so-called “Bulgarian transformism” (P. Restani, Izkustvo, 1996, pp. 38-40) even with its best samples shows differences with the European styles of the 30s and 40s of the 20th century. This “a-synchrony” with the dictate of fashion by the world centres, characteristic of the cultural development of the periphery, saved Bulgarian artists from the self-skeptic attitude of world culture to its own development and, hence, to its future. And this is so because art in the Balkan region and in the East is still perceived as a purpose and hope much more than as a means of exchange and a commodity. In a nutshell – art did not abandon its foremost mission of generating spiritual messages.
In this register of thinking the safeguarding of one’s own voice, of the characteristic traits of sensitivity and artistic expression, is of special value in a multi-faced Europe. The local colour and vitality, the local myth – inherent to any art, makes the composition of the jig-saw puzzle of multi-faced Europe. And the presence of Vezhdi Rashidov in the sculpture collections of the big museums and private galleries all over the world is a proof of what is highly valued in the contemporary world of art. And this is his skill to remain in the framework of the figurative tendency with a Roman exquisiteness of detail, i.e. to preserve the plasticity even when he de-segments the form and fragments the material, to preserve the lyricism and the expressiveness even in his most dramatic achievements. And something else, his works are vibrant with social tension. They are the fruit of human emotion, of a living sensitivity, they do not carry the traits of institutionalizing, and this, I dare claim, is not limited to the last two decades of his creative life. It is not a whim that in every stone Vezhdi Rashidov sees a human head, figure, smile or tear. For him creating art is the most beautiful lie, which a person cannot live without and an artist cannot do without in his work. And if this artist knows when to stop in this infinite game, then he has read God’ s sign.
June 25, 2006, Varna