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My History  |  Touch of Brush  |  PriBAMbasy (Fancy gadgets)  |  "We had a wonderful epoch"  |  39,2 Degree and Above  |  Man Shall Not Live By Chair Alone...

PriBAMbasy (Fancy gadgets)

I was called up for military service on my birthday, November 19th. First in Baku I said good-bye to my gorgeous curls (the last attribute of bohemian life). Then there was a flight to Moscow. It was an adventure for my "colleagues" from enlistment office who never flew by plane before. Moscow was an adventure for me, first absence without leave, campaign to a bar with the only man among 60 that could clearly speak Russian, the Armenian Valerka.
After Moscow I appeared in Krasnoyarsk. Civilian free-rein was really over, but art deeds in the army waited for me.

It seemed I could spend two years working over visual agitation in training unit, but my officers quarreled with each other and I was a victim sent to BAM at once.

Baykal-Amur Railroad (BAM) as it clear appeared later to be a facility less useful than the Great Pyramid. But these are the thoughts of today. At that time I was impressed, first of all with a beauty and majesty of the place. Shrilly blue Baikal. The first morning on the 42nd kilometer of BAM... I opened my eyes and saw over the window of the coach mounds set with poles, a result of work of a giant. Then I was explained that pines grew there until they got to pergelisol and they died, and ex-pines became poles.

All the time spent on the railroad was full of delight for me – coloured fogs, blooming ledum painting mounds into pink and violet colours. I was so impressed that inspired at the same time with the beauty and severity of this land in the corner of the world I started writing rather emotional poems:

Cold of BAM is severe and steel.
Cold of BAM is a snow over clouds.
Cold of BAM is a howl of wind.
Cold of BAM is snowy routes.
Paint freezes on pencils,
Brushes freeze in chilly hands.
My poor fingers
Painfully to tears
Bound with barblock
The cruel frost.

Further poetic creative inspiration often gave birth to the paintings and vice-versa the paintings provoked poems in my heart. For example, I have a series of the canvas "Traffic Lights and Signs". And there is a poem called forth by the painting "Do not enter":

In bloody cross of sign
I see killed freedom.
As everything continues…
But this is another story, after the army.

And in the army on "The Construction of the Century" my art career went on. I had a perfect studio, in the earthmoving workshop. It was a room seven to seven and with height twelve meters with the floor to ceiling scenic window, as if it was dedicated to watch landscapes or frosty drawings on the window. There was another joy: it was warm during cold, frosty weather, as heating main went under the metal floor.

I started my diary in the army. It was creativity itself, I couldn't imagine myself without it, as well it was both a kind of showboat for myself and description of military adventures. Then I have got a self-justification to writing: to check myself, two years passed by and became a necessary page in the creative biography. As it appeared, I realized changing of rather refine Baku art environment to male military world with no oddity but with its special "true of life" as becoming adult.

A description of my adventures in the army poured out in the diary in such passionate poems:

Flashed two lights in the darkness,
Lighted with Eros, flame of desire,
Full of violent passion fire,
It sparkled with carnality refined.
Her eyes stared into mine.
Gushed and drank ardor of my soul,
Passionately threatening to drink it all,
Not a bit to leave.
Deep tenderness to give,
In praise to the sky for delight.
And meet two nude bodies in fight.

This "high style" was raised in my soul by a wife of a long-distance truck driver in BAM. She bewitched me, a soldier-artist. As well I described in the diary in prose everything in details what happened to me and my colleagues and officers. I paid for this when my diary appeared into the strange hands. Russo with his "Confession" got off lightly, I got the maximum from my officers. The punishment wasn't moral, it was absolutely tactile and painful.

In a half a year when I fully adapted to the military life, I could find some time for work over watercolors, I also painted with oils; fortunately I had no problems with paints. As well I had huge agitation pictures and portraits. As normal Soviet artist – both work for pleasure and social order.

Though I had everything as a real warrior of the Soviet Army: uniform, took in to the last degree, dandyish boots, different badges-emblems to win fair sex hearts. But there also was hard, often useless labor, two doughboys could replace excavator.

Nevertheless somewhere army finishes. And like Chehov's sisters: "To Moscow, to Moscow?" Of course, no. To Saint-Petersburg, to Peter, to Muhin's Higher Art and Industrial College.

My History  |  Touch of Brush  |  PriBAMbasy (Fancy gadgets)  |  "We had a wonderful epoch"  |  39,2 Degree and Above  |  Man Shall Not Live By Chair Alone...