x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Kazakh artist depicts horse power in full force

A new exhibition at the Armani hotel at the Burj Khalifa in Dubai marks the Middle East debut of one of Kazakhstan's most popular artists.

The Kazakh artist Nurlan Bazhirov with his artwork titled Greyhounds, which is on displayed at the Armani Hotel as part of the exhibition Kazakh Batyrs – Horses of my Soul. Charles Crowell for The National
The Kazakh artist Nurlan Bazhirov with his artwork titled Greyhounds, which is on displayed at the Armani Hotel as part of the exhibition Kazakh Batyrs – Horses of my Soul. Charles Crowell for The National

 

In the lounge of the luxurious Italian restaurant in Dubai’s Armani Hotel, inside the Burj Khalifa, a seven-day exhibition marks the Middle East debut for one of Kazakhstan’s most popular living artists.

Nurlan Bazhirov is largely unknown outside of his native Central Asia, but inside he is gaining popularity, with his paintings hanging in the interior of the Ak Orda Presidential Palace in Astana, Kazakhstan, as well as the residence of Vladimir Putin in Russia.

Now, his realistic pencil and charcoal drawings, which largely depict horses and other animals, including falcons and dogs, in somewhat mythical fairy tales, are on display in the hotel.

“The main idea of this exhibition is to familiarise the visitors with the strong energy of horses through dynamic and uncommon perspectives,” says Bazhirov. “I get all this inspiration from my childhood.”

Kazakh Batyrs – Horses of My Soul is presented by Pegas Gallery, a new institution that began online earlier this year. This is the gallery’s first show.

Dinara Rakhimbaeva, the founder and owner of Pegas, says when she saw Bazhirov’s art, she was inspired to exhibit it: “I was born on the Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan border and horses are in my blood. My office in Dubai overlooks the Godolphin stables and we have our own horses there. So, when I saw this work, I just had to show it.”

The exhibition is in collaboration with Swiss Art Gate UAE and is under the patronage of the president of Kazakhstan. Sunday’s The opening on Sunday night was attended by Askar Shokybayev, the consul general of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

aseaman@thenational.ae

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