An officer deep inside

In the Cultural center of the Israeli embassy in Minsk an exhibition of the Belarusian artist, Eugene Karmanov, devoted to the event of the celebrating of the 40th anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem and of the 59th anniversary of the Israeli state formation took place
Haifa, the Dead Sea, a bird’s-eye view of Jerusalem… The sensation of light and the sun... All paintings of Israel are made by the artist in pastel tones. Those who have been to the country recollect once again their pleasant trips to Israel looking at the works by Karmaniv, those who hasn’t — peer into the captions and straight away question the author. On the other wall of the small picture gallery of the cultural center there hang the juicy canvas reflecting Belarusian nature which has become dear to the artist, the native of Sakhalin.

The son of the victims of the Second World War, Eugene Karmanov was brought up on Sakhalin in a children’s home, and since the age of eight — in Kursk Suvorov Military School. There he gets lessons of the painting technique from the art teacher, a great-grandson of the Russian artist G.K.Livitskiy. At the age of ten Eugene copies Russian artists: Repin, Levitan. After the graduation he serves in Central Asia, and later — in the Belarusian military district. However, he paints with raptures wherever he serves that is why he does not follow the career of an officer but enters the Belarusian Dramatic Art Institute (the Belarusian Academy of Arts), takes lessons of art technique from Alexander Kishchenko, Gabriel Vashchenko, Vladimir Stelmashonok, Vitaly Tsvirko, May of Danzig and Valentine Volkov. After the graduation from the monumental department of the institute he designs the capital restaurant “Zhuravinka”, sanatoria “Sosni” on the lake Naroch, rest house “Belarus” in Sochi, wedding palaces in different regions of the country. Masterfully performed mosaic and metal reliefs decorate the children’s cinema “Pioneer” in Minsk.

Eugene Karmanov is the author of a hundred portraits of Russian cadets which left their native land in 1917 for different reasons. The idea to embody their faces came to the artist during the international congress of cadets which took place in Moscow in 1992 where the author, a former cadet, started to draw wise faces of his compatriots trying to read their destiny.

The way he managed the task one can see in the halls of Minsk Suvorov Military School. From time to time Karmanov shows those works at exhibitions. They have been exposed in San Francisco, Paris, Caracas, and Milan... While travelling abroad the artist wrote portraits of those cadets who could not be present at the congress. Now those works decorate the gallery of the artillery military school in St.-Petersburg. Some of them are kept in Mogilev cadet school.

Eugene Karmanov works at portraits of the outstanding military leaders of Belarus and Russia. Why does he paint them? “Their faces, — he says, — will remain in history for the descendants. Deep inside I am still an officer who always remembers the motto of the cadets: “Give love to the Motherland, honour to — nobody”.

Galia Fatihova
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