Rafail Aliyev was born in 1953 in Goychay. From 1961 to 1971 he studied at a secondary school in Baku. In 1971 he entered art school to gain a Degree in Metal Art processing. From 1974 to 1976 he served in the Armed forces of the USSR. Since 1977 he has worked in the Art Fund of Azerbaijan. During the years 1982 to 1987 Rafail studied at the state Pedagogical Institute at the faculty of "Art Graphics".
In 1988 he joined the Union of Artists of the USSR. Was adopted in Moscow. At the same time, he became a member of the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan in the Decorative and Applied Arts section. Up until 1995 Rafail worked in various techniques such as forging, embossing, engraving, chemical etching, enamels.
Rafail has participated in many exhibitions in Baku, Moscow and abroad. His works are in museums and private collections. Since 2016, he has been exhibiting his paintings. One work is in the private collection of George Soros. There are a lot of works in exteriors and interiors in Baku and across the Republic of Azerbaijan.
What initially drew you towards becoming an artist?
It is very difficult for me to answer this question. For me, this question sounds the same as the question of why I decided to breathe, walk, laugh, love. It happened. Received such a gift from nature. Maybe genetics worked. My great-grandfather on the maternal line, Ziverbey Ahmadbeyov was a famous architect. In Baku, where I live, there is a monument to him. In fact, creativity is 99% intuitive search, and only 1% conscious choice. My mind is 65 years old, my subconscious is millions. And why in the subconscious something is, I don't know. That was before. I just get out of there what's interesting to my mind. I don't know if I could explain...
How would you describe your own personal style?
A style in which form is more important than content. Content is just an excuse to create a form. The planar solution of space, the absence of secondary objects-everything is of paramount importance. The brightness of the color throughout the canvas, each point working on a common idea. I'm not an art historian, I can be wrong, but it's more impressionism.
What pushed you in that direction and how can you see your work evolving in the future?
My biography probably led to the existing results, to the directions, to the aesthetic principles. God knows what will happen next...
What inspires you in your work, is there a driving factor that draws you to the easel?
New ideas in the composition, in the theme. Sometimes you just want to work without knowing how it will end.
Are there particular individuals who have encouraged / inspired you along the way, friends, family, teachers, maybe even other artists?
Of course there are specific people and circumstances that influenced my formation. We are born absolutely without any knowledge. Rather, the knowledge is there, but they are concentrated in the subconscious. They're genetically transferred to us. Consciousness is filled with then. We consist of what we eat. Consciousness consists of what spiritual food we consume. If you're interested in garbage, it'll be in the brain. I will list a few people who formed my aesthetic scale. This Is Pierre Paolo Pasolini, Andrei Tarkovsky, Rufino Tamayo, Modigliani. Friends - Valery Yassigin.
To view Rafail's full collection click - The Online Art Gallery of Rafail Aliyev