Artist Gubarev Valentin Alexeyevich

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Valentin Hubarev is an amazing Belarusian artist working in the style of naive art, known all over the world. "The modest charm of underdeveloped socialism" is often how Hubarev's work is described in the countries of the former USSR, while foreign art critics call him the Belarusian Bruegel. What is the secret behind the bright individuality and popularity of the artist? What can foreigners see in his ironic, nostalgic, sometimes sad paintings-stories about memories of childhood and youth, about the life of Soviet times? The answer to the question is simple - the artist knows how to live in his paintings. He lives through each painting with his selfless, pure-hearted characters who want simple human happiness. He knows how to feel and convey his feelings to the viewer. This cannot be learned; this is the main talent of the author. Valentin Hubarev was born in 1948 in the city of Gorky. He graduated from the Gorky Art School, the Graphics Department of the Moscow Polygraphic Institute. A painter, graphic artist, member of the Belarusian Union of Artists, an honorary member of the German art association "Masterpiece." He has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions, as well as major world auctions. The artist's works are in national museums, galleries, corporate, and private collections in many countries. He lives and works in Minsk. Valentin Hubarev's work has been represented in the world under exclusive conditions by two galleries: since 1994 in France by the "Les Tournesols" gallery (Paris) and since 2020 in Russia by the contemporary art gallery "Bagratuni Art Gallery" (Moscow). Valentin Hubarev's personal online exhibition is his story about himself in paintings and bright quotes from numerous interviews. "I remember in my childhood, my mom and dad used to give me money for cookies," - Hubarev reminisces.And I bought postcards with pictures by Russian artists. The smell of printing ink is still with me to this day. Well, then I would copy Levitan, Savrasov by cells... If someone asked me at that time which painting was the best, I would say: "It's clear which one. Fedor Reshetnikov's "Another "F". Everything that art needs, all the truth of life, is there. And only at the art school in the third year in critical literature, where they stigmatized the decaying art of the West, I saw in black and white version the works of Pollock, Cezanne, and others. I understood - such power! - you can draw even an apple in different ways. Makovsky like this, Serov like that, and Cezanne or Matisse completely differently. That's when I turned left. I bought objects like on Cezanne's still lifes, and painted, well, almost like him. That's how my search began.

— A unique relationship developed, in connection with this, with the naturalists. There was a Sonia, she was full-bodied. I memorized every dimple, every protrusion of hers. So, you have to find a character. I draw realistically, as it is, and her too, but all the surroundings in a reduced form. And here's the effect: a huge aunt turned out, a sex bomb, engulfing space. And sometimes she was a fish to me, because I drew a tail at the bottom. At first, the naturalists were offended, and then asked to leave something in memory. They understood: it's still art. You have to search for yourself - patiently, tremulously, understanding that there is no other way for an artist.

— My paintings were not accepted for exhibitions under the Soviet government. But when they took one, they immediately wrote about it in the newspaper. Naturally - they criticized. It was a portrait of an electrician from the bird factory named Golub. An ordinary simple person, a funny big-eared one. Everyone in the newspaper was praised, and I was scolded - for "atypicality"...

— In 1994, I received a call from Moscow: "Valentin Gubarev is alive?" I think: "My God, usually after the death of an artist, the paintings become more valuable. What should I say? Admit that I'm alive or..." But, asThe person is honest, I say after a certain pause, "Well, alive." It turns out, the French found a catalog from an old exhibition where my work was displayed, and they were interested. They considered it for a whole year, but decided to take a risk and offered to have an exhibition at the Parisian gallery "Les Tournesols." At the opening, the waiters were dressed in supposedly Belarusian costumes - a sort of Serbian-Croatian-Finnish-Mordovian style. It was amusing, but also colorful for me as an artist. Another image from the exhibition: a well-off couple around eighty. He clearly comes from a noble background, she - a princess, elegant, with gray curls, wearing golden glasses. And this lady came in a huge t-shirt that had a picture of a troika of horses and the word "Troika" written in Russian, while her companion wore an embroidered shirt with a rope belt. It's because they wanted to fit the theme. In general, the audience there is enthusiastic but also used to the idea that true art can only be found in prestigious galleries, not in a cafeteria or a savings bank. Whether it's good or bad, those are the rules of the game. My first exhibition was very successful. A loud success for an unknown artist is a huge rarity, and the gallery signed an exclusive contract with me under unique conditions of absolute creative freedom. As a person in a creative profession, I am fortunate to work without constraints. Any artist would wish for that. If I feel like it, I can produce joyful work, and if I'm feeling down, the work doesn't turn out very cheerful. It's great when an artist sings like a bird... The gallery has been funding all my creative endeavors for over 25 years now. I always try to avoid pomposity in my work. My guys - they are not good. I have a painting. It's a common story: an older man comes to his beloved's house. He brings a box of chocolates, champagne... He just wants to impress. And the final detail: in order to appear as a sweet person, he takes off.He puts on his shoes and still wears socks. What a miracle! Such a man can be taken with bare hands. He loses everything: pride and pathos. This is all ours. And where is heroism here? — I usually write about everyday life, which people are used to being embarrassed about. The characters in my paintings are simple people. They find themselves in ridiculous situations. But I don't allow caricature or sarcasm, I love my heroes. How do you create a good piece of work? My recipe: you have to season it with different emotions. After all, even in the most hooliganistic ditty there is sadness and nostalgic feelings. When there is a lot of this, then the painting turns out. — I deliberately do not draw myself or my close ones. Although sometimes they joke among themselves: "Look, those legs are yours!" Some may see their features in my characters, but they are ashamed to admit it. One doctor said: "Valentin should be awarded the title of Honored Psychotherapist. His paintings heal." And do you know why? My characters always give something up to the viewers. You look and think, "My wife is better." — What is a person made of? Sixty percent of the past, thirty percent of the present, ten percent of the future - what he dreams of. I am not a fantasist, essentially leafing through the album of my life, drawing what I have a direct connection to. My art is not lab-tested, it's natural, ecologically pure. — They say my paintings are bright. Maybe. It's very important what path you have walked. I didn't know hunger. And girls didn't leave me. Valentin Gubarev didn't offend them either. I don't have such scars: I'm not scarred by women and hunger. I'm not a recluse and I love to observe modern life. I don't nostalgia with tears for the past, but it's in my blood... — I think about every new painting for a long time. I walk with it, sleep with it. If I forget it, I'm happy. It means something wasn't right. And sometimes I rub my hands in anticipation of future work, dreaming and figuring out what else to add to it. When.She begins to overwhelm me, so I start to write. I can finish a small canvas in two or three days, but a large one can take up to three weeks. I consider myself a fast writer, but still can't respond to offers to have a larger exhibition somewhere. I have to decline... I try to work every day. — Abroad, there is respect for the artist from the viewers. In galleries, only those interested in art visit, not just looking to get warm or hide from the rain, like here... I have a painting called "The Second Sign of Chastity" that was exhibited in a gallery in Paris. Many people approached and wanted to buy it, but something was bothering them all and holding them back. Then the gallery owner approached and said that she would have sold this canvas a long time ago, even just from the photos in the catalogue, but "because of this" we can't... And then she started explaining in a whisper. In the painting, there is a little man in a hat and a t-shirt. He is sitting with his back to the viewers, deep in, fishing. The t-shirt has the word "Zidane" written on it. And this word was what bothered everyone. I said I could paint over the word. The lady's eyes filled with tears of happiness. In the morning, I walked ahead, and the gallery employees rushed after me like guards. Some with a brush, some with paint... I approached, painted over it - and the word was gone. The painting sold immediately. But the main thing was, I saw an incredibly respectful attitude towards the artist. — Once, in the same gallery, a lonely lady decided and approached me. She says, embarrassed, that three years ago she bought my painting... "And for three whole years, I lived, never taking my eyes off it. For me, this painting is a source of love, happiness, beautiful human relationships... (And on the canvas, there are swings, him and her...) But lately, I started to doubt his feelings." Can you imagine? I wanted to make a joke, but I saw tears in her eyes... I thought for a moment and seriously said that the love of a man and a woman is not necessarily kisses in the folds of a dress... Sometimes it's enough how he looks at his friend's reflection, admires.

...her silhouette...

"Oh, yes, you are absolutely right! I understood, everything will be fine for them," the French woman spoke. And I see how her eyes begin to sparkle, that she is charging up and this recharge will last for another three years. And then I thought to myself: "Valentin, you should work with more responsibility. Because this is what spectators think when they look at paintings. And it never occurred to you that for someone relationships between the drawn characters are so important. That for someone a man's gaze, his pose, facial expression are so important..."

- Foreigners understand my paintings in their own way. I have stopped being surprised that any small factory or power plant in my works are associated with Chernobyl by them. I don't know why. But one case is out of competition. I have a work called "Winners of the Last Harvest." It seems very erotic to me: three women ride a carriage, sitting on a giant carrot, embracing it with their hips. A Frenchman comes up to me and whispers: "Did I correctly understand the meaning of the painting? Is it an allegorical representation of a parade in Red Square?" Can you imagine such a fantasy? And I replied, "Well, in a way you are right..."

- Theoretically, I could have lived in Paris a long time ago. But how can I love that life?... You can't fall in love through newspapers and magazines, right?... Only here, when I come to my Olekhnovichi, sit down at the table, the sun warms my head, everything is my own on the table... And when I leave the house, a huge maple tree greets me, chickens run around, the fence, a dog barks, an old "Zaporozhets" peeks out from under the hay... This land feeds me as an artist. I find inspiration and physical strength in our lives, customs, traditions, people, conversations. My parents, children, relatives, friends - all of this makes up my world.

- I sometimes think: would I have become an artist if I hadn't come to Belarus? You can't calculate this mathematically. I had an exhibition in Germany. A bunch of our artists gathered there.They surrounded me, want to know the secret of my success. And the secret is simple. Do not imitate anyone, even successful... Skill today means little, just like being a member of the Union of Artists. Now what matters is feeling. If I worked just as a craftsman, then I wouldn't be needed in France. Individuality and charisma are important. After all, it's difficult to surprise with something now. It's even important to draw apples and flowers in your own way. An artist must be exclusive, and that's exactly what everyone wants. And may God grant me health, so that every morning I can come to the studio. And in the evening, think about how to make the night end faster, and continue working. And I don't dream of pleasing anyone. I look at myself and only imitate myself.

Lot No. 5397
Valentin Gubarev. The Modest C…