The sculptor who lives in his workshop

“I don’t have a place of my own. I live in this workshop. People find it a little bit odd that the national artist of Azerbaijan doesn’t have a house of his own. I don’t have a registered residence. Therefore, I have registered at the nearby police station. This is life, it is ok.”

This is what a 69 year old sculptor, Khanlar Ahmadov says. His workshop is like a temple for him. He both lives and works there.

“I have been here since 1990. My workshop is my temple. Since this studio previously belonged to the great sculptor Fuad Abdulrahmanov, I got this place after he died. I think Fuad’s spirit is always present here, and this adds to my persistence.”

Khanlar Ahmadov was born in Baku in 1946. After completing the 7th grade, he continued studying sculpture at a college named after the renowned Azerbaijani artist Azim Azimzadeh. After graduating from the Academy of Arts in Uzbekistan, Ahmadov returned to Baku and carried on working in sculpture which he describes as his “passion.”

Ahmadov is proud of the reputation he cultivated as a young avant-garde artist. He was one of the first paid sculptors to challenge the established styles in size, frames and plaques.

“I have made memorial tablets of prominent people including Ghazanfar Khaligov, Mehdi Hussein, Hussein Javid, Azim Azimzadeh and several other personalities. I have also created statues of Mirza Alakbar Sabir and Rasul Rza in front of the Akhundov library,” Ahmadov says.

“I have also authored gravestone statues in the first and second degree honorary cemeteries,” he adds.

“One of those statues belongs to [former Azerbaijani President] Abulfaz Elchibey. The 3 meter 20 cm statue is made of bronze and is surrounded by red granite. The work was initially ordered by his family. However, the government backed up the project financially. Therefore, we have returned his family’s money to them,” the sculptor adds.

Despite not having his own home, Ahmadov maintains a positive outlook on life. For him, the fact that he can live and create art in the same place is important. This way, he can upon the ideas that come to mind immediately.

“The artist must live in his workshop. For instance, let’s say I am going home to Ahmadli. I get an idea when I am home and by the time I reach my workshop to work on it, it is gone. In this sense, living in the workshop positively affects my creative work. When I work on a new character, I always look at their photos. I also read a lot about them. And I listen to music. Everything starts from a sketch,” the sculptor says.

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