CATEGORIES:

Azerbaijan Rugs: Lost Traditions or New Art?

September 1, 2014

In 1915 Kazimir Malevich painted his famous “Black Suprematic Square” and by doing so he put a bold line between the old and the new art. He basically has depicted how this “new art” will look like: primitive, provocative and ugly. All accumulated during many centuries traditions were nullified. In fact his painting informed us that in new art we will not see Mona Lisa, Danaë or Venus. Moreover we don’t need them anymore. The most important thing is to surprise, to entertain and to shock the public – then, we will forget about such things as the aesthetics and the artistic value.

When I first saw one of the carpets created by Faig Ahmed in one of the magazines I thought that it was a bug of computer, which pixelated the image of traditional oriental rug.  It turned out that this is the new generation of Azerbaijani carpets.

Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 12.59.51

It is very sad, but it looks like that traditional carpet-weaving in Caucasus is dead. Since Latif Kerimov (1906-1991), nobody has ever created a new design of Azerbaijani rug. All what we can see now is distorted image of traditional ornaments. In fact they are so much deformed that you hardly can understand what kind of design it was. That’s probably why, Faig Ahmed usually leaves half of a carpet untouched – at least we can guess how it looked like, before he converted it in the awkward colourful mess.

carpet

I do not argue – all what Faig Ahmed creates looks very impressive. But I doubt that his carpets will look good anywhere except modern art museums. Extravagant? Yes. Beautiful? I doubt so. In fact, I think that he doesn’t create anything new. All his works are reinterpreted versions of old masterpieces. It is the same as if I take one of the most famous paintings, let’s say La Gioconda, and depict her face pixelated.

In conclusion: traditional Azerbaijani rugs created in 18th-19th centuries now cost hundreds of thousands and each year become more and more expensive, because they are… beautiful. It is interesting to see what will happen with the carpets below in hundred or two hundred years time. Would they be the same popular as they are now? What do you think?

carpet

Faig Ahmed Carpet

Faig Ahmed

Faig Ahmed

Faig Ahmed Carpet

faig ahmed carpet

SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS
6 Comments
September 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Indeed, I agree, they look marvelous in a museum or in a very modern commercial building, but personally I don’t like them. I think it’s a pity that the work of all those hard working weavers with such special skills is/or will be lost and turned into some easily created pixels or stripes. But I think the artist reached his goal. Anna, since you are writing about it and I’m responding to it, it clearly makes us wonder and think about it. There is a painting “Who’s afraid of red, yellow and blue” by Barnett Newman and many people say it’s not art. I agree with them, but the museum curator said that since we’re talking about it, it clearly makes of think of it and discuss it. And that’s the purpose of art. Hmmm….I don’t know. Personally I prefer artists like Rubens, Dali, Hockney….

Reply
L'Essenziale
September 1, 2014 at 5:53 pm

thank you, Ilse for this thoughtful comment! It is a very philosophical topic and for sure that there is no right or wrong answer, but just opinions and perceptions. For me also this particular painting is not an art as it lacks the most important part – aesthetic value. In one book I have read: “Modern Art is when you have nothing to say…” – in many cases, particularly in this one – I would agree.

Reply
September 1, 2014 at 7:21 pm

This is interesting Anna…this is the first i have seen of something like this/…it does seem more gallery-worthy then functional…in the utilitarian sense…

Reply
L'Essenziale
September 2, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Hi Debra, completely agree with you!

Reply
September 2, 2014 at 1:35 pm

I find myself a bit confused at to what exactly these photos are showing. I’m a pretty literal person, and I find it hard to believe that these are actual rugs. Surely they are computer manipulations of photos?

Whatever they are, they are certainly not going to be treasured for hundreds of years!

Reply
L'Essenziale
September 2, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Hi Susan! no these are actual rugs! I also think that they won’t be… though the artist reached his goal – these items are very eye-catching.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 10,257 other subscribers