The blow received
from colleagues was so strong that Gennady was compelled to pass to painting
section. But it was technically difficult to paint portraits of disabled
people by oil. Not everyone could smell oil, it takes much more time to paint
the portrait, and to search the model. I painted portraits of my native and
Artist's studio on Stoleshnikov 16, 3rd Floor.
In 1982 an extremely psychological picture "A
farewell look" (alcoholism theme) appeared. It has already got a
tremendous success in "perestroika". The second picture "Delirium of
five years with breaks. The main theme of it – is the tragedy of a person
with dirty conscience. It was also exposed in "Manej” and gathered crowds of
people. The reputation of "the artist of morals and conscience" was
finally consolidated to Gennady Dobrov.
The grandiose fire
which happened in the artist’s studio in Stoleshnikov lane in frosty
January, 1985 ruined many picturesque paintings. It took 2 years to restore
the workshop. Fortunately, graphics and some of oil works were stored at
After the fire. White silence.
In the studio after a fire in 1985.
Among the ruins.
"A farewell look".(1981-1982)
"I always considered that
a picture is the top of art".
picture gained for many years, splashed out, as a debt, as a need. In 1982
Dobrov brought it to the exhibition in MOSH. The bomb if turned in the hall
on "Begovaya”, would make less noise, than "А farewell look"... where we are coming to! Is
this art - nasty thing! " Other colleagues friendly explained:
"Gena, where is a hero? There is
only the same continuous gloom and hopelessness". "Distract yourself from a vile subject", - well-wishers
... In December,
1985 Dobrov's picture appeared at "the Soviet Russia” exhibition in Manej.
"A farewell look" appeared to be the hit of the exhibition. People
dragged chairs from all the corners of Manej, took their seats, admired,
swore, arranged the improvised discussions. They asked just at the entrance:
"And where is Dobrov? ", "Where is "A farewell look"?
Again the visitors' book was overflowed with records to Dobrov.... The
resonance from the picture has spread not only across Moscow – but people
come to see it from Riga, Kalinin, Krasnodar.
Svetlana Gladysh. "Sobriety and Culture”
magazine No. 9 of 1986.
of persecution". 1986.
picture "Delirium of persecution" is a reminder, how war mills not only
the bones, but also souls of people. The plot is reliable - in due time
Gennady Mikhaylovich happened to work both as the policeman on duty, and the
hospital attendant. But it is not the main thing. The artist imperceptibly
transfers us to the world of other categories: debt and compassion, hatred
and love for the neighbour, just anger and mildness of soul. Here we have
conversation about SOUL. And the "documentary" painting at
once rises to the level of the highest
abstractions of the Good and the Evil: God in soul and God on a metal plate
of the German soldier's belt. The motive of Christian mercy makes the way -
and starts sounding as an evangelical parable about the leprous...
No. 9 1989.
(From the letter to
Mrs. Helen Hakkel, the doctor of Art school, Winchester, England).
The name of the
picture many times changed. It was: "Payment", "Payment for
Fear", "Retribution". Generally, it is a "Crime and
Punishment" subject and if Dostoevsky's novel wasn't called so, it would
be possible to call the picture using these two words. But here very clearly
visible the theme of madness and therefore after numerous options I stopped
on the psychiatric diagnosis " Delirium of persecution".
... So, it is a
picture about sick conscience of the person, committed huge crimes in the
past which ever since his torment and about which he can’t tell anybody as
descended on this soil from mind.... Dirty clothes with a fascist gleaming belt buckle with an inscription
" God with us " and the Christian cross which has slid off a breast
of the bent old woman nurse, enter into a silent dialogue. Here two views on
the world connected: cruel, ruthless and vindictive and humane as two swords,
two concepts, two relations to life and to people...
The picture was
exhibited at two large art exhibitions, received many positive comments of
the audience. Your English art critic Brendon Taylor devoted to it some lines
in the "Art month” magazine in May, 1988.
... The picture is
ended, but it is necessary to say about one more character, about the author,
without whose active participation of feelings hardly would the picture live for so long, for several
years, all the time feeling live pulse. What is the sick Conscience? And
whether is it possible to compose about it a picture, most being discharged
of its Main character? No, of course, isn't. It is more than that, I tried to
discover and found in myself all the meanness, all the mucks, all the bad
that I’ve ever done to other people.... Here therefore when I looked for an
image of the tramp, I got the idea to make him similar to myself. That is why
there is so much torment in his eyes. It is a picture - confession. It is a
picture-confession-atonement. It is a picture confession - repentance...