Atyrau, September 23 08:12
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On September 14 the opening ceremony of the painting exhibition of husband and wife Manarbek Davletyarov and Elmira Zhumabayeva and their two kids –Amin,7, and Elif,3, was held at the Arts Museum named after Sh. Sariyev. The exhibition will be open through the mid October.

This unusual family exhibition under the creatively different title “ManE” (combination of two names – Manarbek and Elmira) was opened by Mariya Zhumagulova, a well-known fine art expert and the member of the Artists’ Union of the Republic of Kazakhstan, who in a very exciting manner described to the audience the creative work of this talented family dynasty.


They met each other at the painting exhibition. Maybe this was the love at first sight, because after three months Manarbek proposed Elmira to marry him. When he saw her paintings, he was impressed both by her talent, her inner world, as well as her outer beauty.
For Manarbek and Elmira their creative work activity is not only means of survival, but also the meaning of their existence. It seems that they found not just each other, but also their unique painting styles. Their stylistic preferences are surprisingly close – a rare fortunate coincidence of spiritual soul mates. They both chose the direction of modernism and it is obvious from their works that they are mostly attracted by the French Impressionism.
Their creative tandem developed into a harmonious family quartet, when their two kids at an early age started drawings pictures.


In our pragmatic modern days Elmira has managed to keep a romantic approach to life. Elmira is in love with the art of French modernism and her works are sort of remakes of Impressionism. She combines the ‘French way of life’ of the past century with the scenes of our modern life, with Kazakh motives. Elmira’s paintings are very complex composition wise. She skillfully uses the technique of ‘painting inside the painting’ when in one painting various genres can be present: still-life, portrait, landscape and indoor scene.  This proves that she has the finest artistry.  
From her early childhood Elmira took ballet classes along with music lessons and those topics are the dominant themes in her art. She works a lot in the technique of ‘dry pastels’, which nowadays, unfortunately, as well as water colors and graphics, is becoming less popular and gradually sinking into the past. But it is only pastel, that does not tolerate noise and hassle, cam finely convey the images and the atmosphere of ballet and music.


Althougth Manarbek was an artist by education, he didn’t work as an artist for a very long time. He tried many other trades before he devoted himself to arts. In many ways, this sudden change in his life was influenced by the meeting with his future wife Elmira, who was by that time the Grand Prix Laureate of the international arts festival “Shabyt” (Inspiration).  
Manarbek’s paintings are very lyrical and refined, despite his external macho appearance. He mostly works with oil. Being born in Atyrau, he just could not neglect the topic of oil rigs. But he transforms them so unexpectedly by completely depriving them of their status of aggressiveness (meaning the undesirable impact on the environment and purely external sizes). For example, in his painting ‘Dos-sor’ which is deep in meaning and beautiful in its pictorial expression, two times are pictured- the past and the present of the village. At the front there is a cattle-razing past versus the suddenly discovered wealth, the iridescent oil rigs at the background – the future hope of the village.  
In the painting called ‘Circumcision’ he depicted the moment of transformation of personality- from young boys to future men.
The portrait of Timur Bekmambetov, our country-mate and world-famous film producer is made in an interesting interpretation. Refusing the absolute copy of his face, the artist was able to express the inner world of the producer, the man who managed to rise above the ordinary people and pull himself forward.
Manarbek’s paintings could be described as a kaleidoscope of rainbow, dominated by light and clear colors. His heroes gain wings and there many scenes of men’s flight in the space, that could be seen at the paintings “Inspiration”, “The Catcher of Happiness” and others.


Despite their small ages, on the drawings of seven -year-old Amin and three-year-old Elif one can already see the finished compositions. You get the impression that they inherited both physical and spiritual genes of their parents. Amin draws mostly technogenic, as well as fantasy images, made in black-and-white, sometimes without lifting his hand from the paper surface.
And little Elif surely fills the space of the paper with animalistic images and very confidently uses the contrast colors. The ‘Impressionism’ in its children’s version!  But they have the whole future in front of them!  
There are more than 100 paintings at the exhibition. This is a very big volume and testifies the big creative potential of these artists.
In the Davletyarovs paintings you see an amazing warmth, grace and elegance of style so inherent to the French art and at the same time, unconditional looking back at their roots, as if East and West merge into one harmonious unity.  
Their works are full of optimism and leave in your soul a deep impression. Looking at their paintings one instinctively wants to take a brush and start paintings himself to create similar creations!


In our era of market economy the art has been strongly commercialized. If in the West people buy even small paintings, provided they are of high artistic value, in our country, we mostly prefer to decorate our interiors with big, monumental pieces. In many cases they are the reproduction posters run on the printer that we import from China or the Emirates.
And here involuntarily you think about the rich collections of the Russian and West European Arts once carefully collected by the rich entrepreneurs and patrons of arts, such as Savva Morozov, Tretyakov brothers, S. Schukin who were both true intellectuals and patriots of their country, who not only built factories and railways, but also invested money into the works of art and left to future generations those world famous collections of paintings.
I wish that during the era of ‘big oil’ the creations of our gifted artists were in demand, so that we could preserve and leave for future generations a rich spiritual heritage that is beyond the decay of time.

by Zeena Urynbassarova

September 20 2012, 11:21

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