‘I enjoy taking flight in a romantic manner and incomplete lines...’
Famous Belarusian sculptor Gennady Buralkin known for his originality, unusual images and unique perception
By Victor Mikhailov
Gennady Buralkin sees unique opportunities for creativity, using diverse pictorial allegory, symbolism and metaphor. He seeks out inspiration from real life and from the Belarusian countryside, as well as from ancient myths and legends. The long held traditions and principles of sculpture are replaced by his complex portrayals and multi-layered compositions, filled with expression. Picturesqueness and diversity play an important role in his work but he has no clear preference for genre, material or theme, having diverse interests. Looking at his work from the last three decades, it’s easy to recognise his style, despite the range of techniques and experimentation with colour. He has his own method of exploring the past and the present, and his own perceptions of his surroundings.
During his early years of independent creativity, Mr. Buralkin was keen on organisation of aesthetic environment, monumental sculpture, creating unique huge compositions from glass and metal. Even when he began to produce indoor and chamber sculpture, ‘monumentalism’ was at the core: simple and generalised forms, grand compositions and balanced proportions.
It may seem strange but the integrity of Buralkin’s creativity lies in its intuitive and spontaneous combination of various elements: figurative, unexpected, expressive and, even, psychological, as well as architectural and design. He attaches great importance to material and its processing, as well as textures and colour.
Graphic art is less important to him but we do see wonderful delicacy and grace. “I enjoy taking flight in a romantic manner, with musical strokes and incomplete lines,” admits Mr. Buralkin. “At the same time, I like to be expressive and exact in my thoughts — as if time has been captured.”
His drawings in coal, pen and ink sparkle with life and quiver with female essence. We see the mysteries of ancient legends, the pricelessness of existence and the beauty of the Earth and those who live upon it.
Gennady Buralkin was born in 1942 in Kazakhstan, to a family of exiled йmigrйs from Belarus. In the 1970s, he graduated from the Belarusian Theatre and Art Institute’s Sculpture Department and, since then, has practiced indoor and monumental sculpture. In 1990-2001, he chaired the Belarusian Union of Artists. Mr. Buralkin has participated in Republican and international exhibitions and plein air seminars, while his works are kept at the National Art Museum, at Mogilev’s Regional Art Museum (named after Pavel Maslennikov) and at the Art Museum in Flagstaff (Northern Carolina, USA). Many private collections, in Belarus and abroad, also boast his works.