Gama (Hamida) Malikova (B. 1972; Baku, Azerbaijan) graduated from the Azerbaijan State Medical University in Baku in 1997. In 2003, she left her medical career to devote herself to art. Gama is a talented self-taught artist whose passion for painting became her calling. Significantly, Gama has painted since childhood and always wanted to express herself through the language of art. Her talent has often been called a godsend.
Large surfaces always attracted the artist, and she created her first works using raw wooden boards. After that, Gama began to paint on the bark of trees, adapting her images to the wood’s natural structure. We could refer to this as her “organic period.” Then she began to use the canvas as the basis for her works. During this period, her works resembled the paintings of old masters. They are both realistic and decorative, and their motifs are often inspired by the patterns of traditional Azerbaijani carpets.
Gama invented her painting style out of her desire to reproduce and display the dreams and images of her childhood, namely the plant motifs and the mythical and mysterious animals that she saw as a baby on the carpets that hung on the walls instead of paintings, as is so common in Azerbaijani homes.
She produces her still lifes, portraits, and paintings in a more abstract style; they are always inspired by eastern topics and resemble Persian miniatures. However, we find the motifs of eastern decorative art within the western format of the still life. Her other works are more reminiscent of Roman wall paintings that are known to us through fragments and traces, which Gama reconstructs in very subtle and conscientious drawings created using her idiosyncratic technique.
Gama is not afraid to experiment in her works. Thus, she created her own mixed technique: she mixes oil paints and acrylics with wood and with sea sand from the Caspian coast for her works. The artist’s experimental technique springs from her desire to constantly develop and bring diversity to her art, and to seek and find new forms and new means of expression.
The works of Gama Malikova testify as much, if not more so, to her exploration of her origins and culture through visualization as to her need for artistic self-expression.