I totally loved “Carpet Interiors”, a series by Azerbaijani artist Farid Rasulov that brings together three elements—interiors (modern, with beds and chairs and everything), carpets (reddish, with a print that comes decidedly from the Caucasus) and animals (pure white, somewhat still and quiet)—to create lush, mysterious visuals.
Farid started to work on the project in 2013. At first, they were computer-generated prints. The same year, he was invited to set up an installation in the Azerbaijan Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale and took the initiative forward.
“The idea behind these works,” writes the artist, “is to organise an area where Eastern and Western ideology can create a dialogue and try to be together without harming each other. I used Western-type interior design and covered it with carpets, one of the most prominent symbols of the East. I chose carpets from Seven Carpet Schools in Azerbaijan.” They happen to be the Quba School, the Baku or Absheron School, Shirvan School, Ganja School, Gazakh School, Karabakh School and Tabriz School.
“The animals in these images symbolise a pure nature,” Farid continues, “that suffers or is damaged during this conversation between the East and the West. They seem as though stuck in prison, waiting for a miracle to come out of the white windows.”
A doctor by training—having studied at the Azerbaijan State Medical University—Farid suddenly became involved in the visual arts after his graduation in 2006, to the great surprise of his friends and family, and made great strides in a relatively short period of time.
Farid is active across a wide range of artistic media–- large scale paintings, installations, 3D graphics, animation and sculpture. His works are usually intellectually provocative but this conceptual artist stubbornly denies charges of his art being multi-layered and profound. He insists that he means absolutely nothing, that he simply replicates the commonplace things that he sees around him.
“My work is based on the fact that I do not take it seriously—and neither do I take seriously the things that I portray,” he says. “I often observe how viewers carefully scrutinise my works, searching for hidden meanings. This is fascinating to watch, because what they’re looking for does not exist.”
Farid is represented by YAY Gallery in Baku.