ARTIST RAKHMAN RAKHMANOV DESIGNS THE COVER OF ATAJAN TAGAN’S ‘THE STRANGER’ TO BE PUBLISHED IN FRENCH
As reported earlier, ‘The Stranger’, a novel by Atajan Tagan, is being prepared for publication in the French language. Turkmen artists competed for designing the cover of the book. The design by Rakhman Rakhmanov has been named the best.
His name is easily recognized by art lovers. Majoring in book design, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts (the Department of Graphic Design). Now teaching at his alma mater, he also illustrates books and creates pictures in different styles.
Looking at his creations, it is hard to believe that they have been produced by one and the same artist… The graphic work, ‘Dervish’, caught my eye. Although executed in monochromatic colors, the drawing impresses with its narrative expressiveness and deep meaning. In my view, the philosophical work can be seen as a metaphor of the artist’s creative quests and an allusion to his path in art.
- I’m still trying to find my artistic voice and develop my individual style, Rakhman said, anticipating my question. – My interest in the career in illustration stemmed from the fact that it opened up possibilities to capture the reality through the prism of artistic representations, to depict objects and phenomena reflecting the diverse array of associative perceptions, and philosophical subtexts.
As a student, Rakhman designed Kerim Kurbannepesov’s book of poems ‘Oýlanma Baýry’. Illustrations by the artist have appeared in the epics ‘Gerogly’ and ‘Gorkut Ata’, and the book ‘Serwi Gelin’ by Atajan Tagan. He worked on designing the stage sets for the opera ‘Yusup and Zuleikha’. He and his works are well known in Azerbaijan, Turkey and Cyprus. The artist received the President’s Türkmeniň Altyn Asyry Award twice in 2008 and 2011.
What is it like to illustrate a book? An illustrator should be able to convey the message the writer intends to communicate through the writing, to bring the writer’s conception and story to life, and to dramatically enhance the reader’s experience. It takes a great deal of effort to do this work artfully ranging from adopting a personal attitude to the text and achieving an accurate understanding of it to properly interpreting the text to perfectly match the mood of the book…
And artist Rakhamanov succeeds well in doing it probably because he is a remarkably versatile and talented personality. He is in constant search, his works are eclectic. Surrealism and realism, abstraction and graphics, avant-garde and impressionism – his drawings are a unique window into painting styles and techniques…
- I have been particularly keen on drawing and history since childhood. My hobbies have influenced my artistic outlook, Rakhman says. – Apparently, my characteristic style is rather epic and philosophical - it is not enough for me to simply visualize what I have seen or experienced, I would like my works to pulsate with thoughts and metaphors. I am not ready to name the style which fascinates me most. I love to experiment, learn something new and reinvent myself, and if this resonates with others, sparks their interest or provokes arguments, it means that I am on the right track…
Rakhman’s aspiration for spatial and depth perceptions reflects his personal world view as a young, talented and distinctive artist.
- I am very delighted that ‘The Stranger’ with my illustration on the cover will come out in France soon. I admire the talent of Atajan Tagan and I feel a strong affinity with his character, a traveler and researcher, who is keen to explore the Turkmen people’s culture and language and has cherished the warm memories of our sundrenched country all his life. My associations were incarnated in the illustration and its color palette with the character being part of this richly diverse world.
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Ashirmukhammed Rakhmanov’s ‘We Will Certainly Meet Again’ is regarded as one of the long-running stage productions in the A. S. Pushkin State Russian Drama Theater’s repertoire. As Atajan Tagan’s ‘The Stranger’ is now in active preparation for publication in French, the heart-piercing theatrical story draws a special interest.