“… When I will be an old man, – he said, – I will wear shabby stretched trousers, waist-low gray-haired dreadlocks and a bag with opened cans of spray paint … I am only 23 now, and I paint the world in my favourite colours”.
INSTEAD OF KEYS
Miras Dzhashiev is one of those rare persons whom you either accept straight away or don’t tolerate categorically. However, he doesn’t care less. This couldn’t-care-less attitude is a peculiar character feature of many creative people and, therefore, it is excusable.
– Well, I am not, simply, an artist … – he says, lighting a cigarette at the staircase landing. Anyone can do it by using Photoshop, plus imagination. I have a desire to create. And I don’t have a special education. The movement is called pop-art. I think, I am the only one who follows this trend in Atyrau, I haven’t’ heard of others.
… Then he invites me to his workshop. He is gallant in his own way: courteously helps me to take off my jacket and then carelessly pushes it somewhere into a corner. Settles himself on the only chair in the room, like a strange all pierced and tattooed bird on a perch. He observes from under the half-lowered eyelids, and over and over again unconsciously touches a centimeter long nail on his little finger. Having shifted from foot to foot, I sit down on a carpet and pull out my notebook. We are sitting in silence and, strangely, we don’t’ feel awkward.
– Your nail … has grown too long.
– Oh, … this is also a door key. I lost the keys and the nail is quite convenient for opening the door. By the way, it is a useful thing in housekeeping. Shall I turn the music on? Otherwise, it is a bit boring.
OIL IS BLOOD, LIFE IS LABYRINTH, CUBES ARE JOLIE
Once Miras had a strange dream. Before full awakening, he caught his dream by the tail, somewhere in between two states of being. Being under the strong impression he took a sheet of paper and started to draw his dream. And when he finished, it turned out good and he was rather surprised.
Then he got carried away and was drawing for days, without meal breaks, drawing one painting after another.
– Can you show me your paintings?
His feeling of drowsiness vanished as if by magic. At last he swims up from the depth of smooth flow of his thoughts and starts to demonstrate.
– First of all, let me show you my own creations, ok? This is a picture of Atyrau. Do you understand it? What do you see in it?
– A nodding donkey. A heart.. M-m-m … Could you explain?
– Well, a nodding donkey is a beaten theme. It pumps out from the heart of Atyrau land – the oil. This is the heart. At the bottom of the heart is very little oil left. The oil – blood is not a beaten theme. Is it clear?
– Of course, it is clear...
– I say the same thing – everything is clear and understandable. Look here, this is a human life. On the top there is a stork with a baby standing at the entrance to a labyrinth. This is life – a complicated and confusing labyrinth through which all of us should go. And the death with a scythe is patiently waiting at its exit. We will die, sooner or later.
– You are a fatalist …
– No-o-o-o. I love life to the full. All these talks about a doomsday are killing me. It would be so stupid for all of us to die in one appointed day … The mankind doesn’t deserve it. Ridiculous! Where is the sense then? Actually, my plans are grandiose. My dream is to travel. I want to become a wanderer with a backpack full of paints …
– I see… you are a romantic thing!
– What else?
– The classics of this genre – Marilyn Monroe. I take an existing photo, then I work on it and add my own impressions into it. She was a beautiful woman. And here is Barak Obama. I am his fan. The first black president. You know, he allowed the Americans to grow cannabis in their yards. Cool. I would like to make a picture of our president too. But… if the image is “wrong” – then I would be jailed or pay a fine. This is our reality. I draw with paints that could be easily washed away. And nothing will be left. Just a white canvas. I like it.
… Angelina Jolie - made of multi-colored cubes, Leonardo de Caprio - wearing a hat and drawn in yellow shades, the American rapper Wiz Khalifa, Steve Jobs, Bob Marley, Keanu Reeves, Brad Pitt … Each one drawn in their unique colors, with its unique expressiveness and style. And also zebras.
– Do you realize that at times you are talking nonsense? Why do you paint zebras? What is it there hanging on the wall? Who the roller skates belong to? What else, besides painting, do you do? Do you feel lonely because you are different from others?
– I do. Because zebras are beautiful. My photo album. They belong to me. I make pendants out of wood. Always.
– Ou-f-f-f … Can you be more specific?
– Many think that I am absent-minded. For example, I can’t remember your name. And not because I am a slow burner… When you leave, I can draw you by memory, with every small detail. I am always in my own thoughts. Very often I have my head in the clouds. And I can’t do anything with myself. I am not acting, I am, simply, born this way. This is my true character.
I won’t speak about zebras, I have already answered. And the pendants are a separate topic. I give them away, I sell them, I enjoy making them. On the wall there are pictures- it is my photo album. I don’t like the closed albums. Therefore, I stick the photos on the Whatmans paper. These are my friends. Roller skates are my passion. I can show you the video with dangerous tricks that I do. I learned them myself, and bumped my head a good many times. But I had a goal and achieved it. About loneliness … It seems to me that we are all lonely people. It was intended to be so. You come to this world alone and you leave alone too. We have people around us, but they … live their own lives. This is the fact.
At the end of this strange conversation I took pictures. I caught myself on the thought that camera in my hands lived its own life – it forced me to take his picture in an angle and not from a straight view. I could hardly take any pictures. The guy was like a streamlet – very agile and it was difficult to catch a moment.
Undoubtedly, he is talented. Undoubtedly, he is a challenge for a man in the street. In a word, he is an eccentric. Highly creative one.
WKT Reference: Miras Dzhashiev’s art exhibition in the style of World Stars has opened on December 20, in Atyrau oblast museum of arts named after Sh. Sariev. The art exhibition will close on January 10, 2013.
by Anastassiya Pastoukhova
January 4 2013, 13:43