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Ever since his first works of granite Vezhdi Rashidov revealed himself in a figurative imagery, structural and synthetic, which over the years and with the experience transformed into a sharply expressive form, spacious and vivid, in which the characteristic and the typological were elevated to significant symbols. Alongside with this, time, circumstances and responsibilities have largely calmed down the bohemian frivolity of the author and have released the perception of its sculpture from verbal clichés an d public complexes.
Sculpture is generally an art of silence. It needs no words or evidence. It is beyond any business and administrative positions and subordination. These can impede it rather than created. I believe that from the experience of a 60-year-old Vezhdi has reasons to be grateful to fate that it has endowed him with a complex, difficult and contradictory personality. Because, before being a sculptor, any sculptor is a personality.
Managing Director of The Louvre
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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.
А letter to Vezhdi Rashidov, sculptor, citizen of the wide world
As I see it you represent a strange mix of skepticism and hot temper, a certain kind of good-heartedness and warm grace – the eternal and inseparable qualities of every artist of value. Only through closer communication with you one can access the puzzling secrets of your soul. In appearance you could be compared to an artist looking for his truth – ready to defend it with all possible means, a slightly affective personality on all ideas outside of your aesthetics circle, the icy cloak, the armour of a vulnerable and extremely sensitive soul. Burning passion for all that is good and beautiful in life, and under the mask of egotism – the same devotion to your friends and favorite ideas.
Another of you valuable qualities is your imagination – it has never stopped climbing the steep slopes of perfection. Good and evil, heaven and hell could be yours.
All your abilities are subject to your imagination and this imagination defines their place and value. The visible universe according to me is merely food for the artist’s hand, who defines its place and importance, inspires order and harmony. Vezhdi, you ardently love passion and equanimity, you try to find ways and resources to achieve them with all possible means.
What it comes to after all is a life-work of a sculptor: love, excellent erudition, keen knowledge of the intricacies of the craft, strong and at the same time exquisite form, pursuit of perfection – all these qualities as a whole and taken separa tely, are your pride.
In our lamentable times a new industry was created; it contributed to a great extent to the endorsement of stupidity and kitsch in art and to the destruction of the few heavenly things in the Bulgarian artistic tradition.
That is why I am utterly convinced that your results are of the highest quality and that you are recognizable among other artists, that you possess your own circle of themes so in tune with your temperament.
Stay the way you are because it is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not.
March 18, 2006, Paris
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.
Pere A. Serra
Academy of Fine Arts
I had the happy opportunity to meet the great sculptor Vezhdi Rashidov through my good old friend Bernardo Quetglas who is a big collector of works of art, a man who has done something almost impossible: at the centre of Mallorca Island where only almond-trees and carobs grow, along with the solitary pine tree, he, so to say, has “planted” about one thousand sculptures which give the scenery the feeling of surreal beauty, a dream in paradise, another dimension of reality. Among these one thousand sculptures the power, beauty and moving messages the works of Cardenas and our great friend Vezhdi Rashidov stand out. These two artists endow this sculpture park with unique beauty and meaning.
But here I do not want to speak about Bernardo Quetglas, nor Cardenas, who was called by another great sculptor Enrique Broglia called “El Morenito”. It is possible, though I could be mistaken, but I believe that in his work “El Maestro” Vezhdi Rashidov has drawn inspiration from two really great sources – William Blake and Francisco Goya Lucientes who, in my opinion is the father of Impressionism and hence of all modern art.
His tortured images, his birds – ready to make nests in an inferno inherent more to the works of Blake, as if descending from the “bleak series” paintings of Goya, but endowed with new life by the bronze.
Talking of modern art I’ve always said that the artists of the 21st century are always standing before one of the greatest challenges in the history of art –
from the paragons of Altamira to the present, passing through the Egyptian, Greek and Phoenician art and coming to Malevich’s white on white and Picasso’s women with three, four or five eyes, and also why not to the fantasy, surrealist, poetic, beautiful and universal world of Miro’s constellations.
And this challenge is how to find new ways in art, how to discover new horizons.
It is very difficult for the modern artists to fight the challenges of the epoch. Challenges which, in my humble opinion, Vezhdi Rashidov has succeeded in fighting with.
The Grand Master of sculpture Rashidov has succeeded in creating in the 21st century new forms, to inspire new emotions, to define through new vehicles of expression a new and different art.
We thank you, Vezhdi, for the pleasure you gave us by letting us appraise a new and different way of interpretation in art.
Among so much mediocrity, among so many peddlers in the filed of art who want to show off as great artists, but who cannot potter out of their mediocity, you Bulgarian Maestro, represent the oasis full of life and artistry in this boring and dull desert that art has been turned into today.
Tjapko and Marjolijn
De Queeste Gallery
We have a gallery and sculpture garden (De Queeste) in a small place in Holland (Heerde), but with great artists from Bulgaria. One of these is Vejdi. We think of him as a gifted sculptor and artist, whose work we love, especially the portraits and the intriguing “Strangers”. But most of all, Vejdi is a great person and friend.
As strangers we entered his wonderful house in Simeonovo for the first time, 6 years ago and we left as friends. Since then we met many times. So far we had 2 exhibitions in our gallery with works of Vejdi and both times he was present at the opening, supporting us in our efforts to promote Bulgarian art in the Netherlands.
He encouraged us by saying that history has shown that even small places can play a major role in the quest for art. Of course his work is prominently present in our collection as well.
Vejdi, thank you for your support and friendship and for the wonderful moments we spent together with you and Sneja.