"His paintings show greatheartedness of Azerbaijanis"

By Vestnik Kavkaza
"His paintings show greatheartedness of Azerbaijanis"

Yesterday, the atrium of the new building of Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) with the support of the Azerbaijan Youth Organization of Russia and the Azerbaijan Club of MGIMO has opened the exhibition 'Recollection and Reflection' of the member of the Association of Artists of UNESCO Ashraf Heybatov, who presented his Azerbaijani motives in Moscow.

Speaking at the opening of the exhibition, the artist called the culture and politics two wings of one bird, referring to the first President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Theodor Heuss, who was a professor of art history. "This bird flies at the MGIMO building, where there is a very high aesthetic and architectural level," Ashraf Heybatov assessed both the atrium of the new building and the level of teaching at MGIMO.

The rector of MGIMO Anatoly Torkunov told Vestnik Kavkaza: "Any art exhibition, especially if the artist is talented, causes a variety of feelings, reflections, joy, sadness, but what I have seen so far, speaks about the joy of life, the diversity of the world and the possibility of it perception through the prism of the feeling that we live under the sun. This is very important in our difficult times. I am happy that 36 years later MGIMO has become a platform a remarkable artist's exhibition once again.The initiator of Ashraf Heybatov's exhibition in 1981 was student Ilham Aliyev, and today it was also initiated by the students. It was attended by a large number of young people, not only Azerbaijanis. This shows that MGIMO is a university where students strive to know one another, where relations of friendship and mutual understanding develop. Hope God to keep it that way."

Anatoly Torkunov clearly remembers the exhibition of 1981: "At that time I was a young pro-rector responsible for international communications and foreign students. When Ashraf recalled that the initiator of that exhibition was Ilham Aliyev, our graduate, our beloved and respected friend, the current president of Azerbaijan, I was particularly proud. 37 years ago none of us knew how our whole life in the USSR will be. Today Ashraf is a well-known artist not only in Azerbaijan and Russia, but also far abroad, during the last decades his exhibitions were held in different countries, in Vienna, in Geneva. Our Russian diplomats also participated in their organization. When joy is added to the bitter truth of life, we all happily visit such exhibitions and pay tribute to the artist's creativity, invention, and talent.

Vugar Imamaliyev, an advisor to the Azerbaijani embassy in Russia, greeted the guests and organizers of the exhibition on behalf of the Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbul-oglu. "Our compatriot, who we are proud of, has been living outside Azerbaijan for many years, but he still promotes the Apsheron school of painting in his art, being its founder and creator. The exhibition presents very small paintings, but Ashraf muallim is a muralist. His paintings show greatheartedness of Azerbaijanis. In his works Ashraf Heybatov is able to combine the traditions of the East and the modern plastic of the West. This is evidence of why this man became peace envoy. He is also a Honored Artist of Azerbaijan, a member of the Association of Artists of UNESCO, a member of the Russian Academy of Arts, is exhibited at the UN in Geneva, in New York, at NATO headquarters," Imamaliev said.

Deputy director of the International Institute of Energy Policy and Diplomacy Igbal Guliyev recalled that Ashraf Heybatov was born in Baku and he was formed as a professional artist in Moscow under the guidance of professionals, Russian muralists. "Then Ashraf Heybatov moved to Germany and continued his work there. But his first steps in great creativity were made in MGIMO. As a person who actively follows Ashraf Heybatov's work, I attend his exhibitions in different countries. For me, Ashraf Heybatov's works are bright colors, explosion and a burst of emotions, feelings. It always a pleasure. If we look at these paintings, we will see that they are all permeated with eastern threads," Guliyev noted.