Arystanbek Shalbayev

Arystanbek Shalbayev was born in the Keless country of South Kazakhstan in 1959. Soon after graduating from the Almaty Institute for Arts and Theater in 1984, the artist returned to Shymkent where he became a teacher at the Kasteyev school and met fellow teacher Vitaliy Simakov. Shalbayev and Simakov’s close proximity created a space for each to learn from each other and experiment with the compositional qualities of painting. Using painting, graphics, installation, video and performance, Shalbayev’s practice is an exquisite juxtaposition of subjects and mediums. Shalbayev’s artworks display strong conceptual visual aspects which come together using a solid, almost scientific, methodology—making his process just as important as the message of his artworks. The artist is interested in absurd representations of Kazakhstan’s current-day social, cultural and economic dilemmas, as well as its history and mythological discourse. His latest series of artworks, collectively called Boomerang, reveal the self-destructive fate of Kazakhstan’s natural-resource-driven economy.

Arystanbek has participated in a number of personal and group exhibitions in Kazakhstan, the UK, Czech Republic, France and Spain where his pieces have been acquired by local and public collections. Of note, Arystanbek was a part of the show Nomads, a collective exhibition of artists from Kazakhstan in Moscow; Life is a Legend, a show of contemporary Kazakhstan art in Strasbourg, France; and the ArtBat Festival in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

 

PRESS

FOCUS KAZAKHSTAN – THINKING COLLECTIONS: TELLING TALES

Kazakhstan has been inhabited since the Paleolithic period. Its etymology comes from kazakh, meaning 'wanderer', and stan, which in Persian means 'land'. And so the country—ninth largest in the world—is literally translated to 'land of the wanderers'. 

Ocula Magazine, 15 November 2018

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Thinking Collections: Telling Tales: A Survey Exhibition of Kyzyl Tractor Art Collective

The first floor gallery at Mana Contemporary in Jersey City has been transformed into a cozy Kazakhstani tea room. Low tables adorned with lavish tea cups are placed amidst colorful, haphazardly patterned cushions which are scattered on the floor. But the suggestion of relaxation is interrupted by the violent sounds coming from the black and white scenes projected on the walls.

The Brooklyn Rail, November 30, 2018

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FOCUS KAZAKHSTAN – THINKING COLLECTIONS: TELLING TALES

Four men, members of the Kyzyl Tractor Art Collective, rolled a large drum made of wool, wood, ropes, metal, sheepskin and plastic onto the front lawn of Mana Contemporary in Jersey City. Turned on its side like a wheel, the Purification Drum (2003/2018) easily towered over them as they steered it through the crowd of onlookers. Using a whip-like stick, one man beat the taut surface as he pushed and rotated the drum onto the pavement. 

ArtAsiaPacific, 2018

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“Without politics, there can be no even a picture of a naked woman”

(in Russian)

Reflections of the Kazakhstan artist Arystanbek Shalbaev on the socio-political situation in Kazakhstan, spiritual values and human existence are presented at the exhibition "Print" held in Almaty.

Azattyq, May 8, 2019

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Barrels, matches and triptych of Khan (in Russian)

Specialists in contemporary art recommend investing in paintings by Arystanbek Shalbaev. For many years this native of Shymkent has been creating under the star of the trans-avant-garde. Although he says that today he does not misbehave, as before, interest in his person has not waned over the years.

CaravanApril 24, 2016

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Four Shymkent residents rolled through New York on a red tractor

(in Russian)

“Rukhani Zhangyru” miraculously works in a foreign land. Crowds of Americans in huge New York found time to travel to Jersey City, and even every half hour from Westside through the Hudson Tunnel a free bus went to Mana Contemporary - not an oasis, but, by our standards, a whole continent of art, because here is unimaginable the number of halls, and in one even Warhol. But what is there Warhol with his desperate protest against the roll of the personality in the soup jars! More precisely, the end of it. Nomads came and knocked this nonsense. From America.

Express-K, October 15, 2018

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