Born in Baku, Azerbaijan 1968, Lives and works in Baku and Paris
Niyaz Najafov is a professional sportsman. He graduated from Baku Technical School of Physical Culture
in 1985 and has been involved in professional sports most of his life. Najafov started drawing
in childhood, took up painting in 2003 and has had a successful career in art. His works are now exhibited
in the leading galleries of Baku. In 2009, Najafov represented Azerbaijan at the Venice Biennale.
Niyaz Najafov’s star rose in the firmament of Azerbaijani art in the middle of the past decade. The works of this original artist have been widely exhibited abroad (including Russia, the USA, Germany and Denmark), and have been acquired by museums and private collections at home and abroad. In 2009, Najafov became one of the artists representing Azerbaijan at the Venice Biennale. Two of his works were purchased there by the renowned collector Alberto Sandretti.
All of Najafov’s canvases, regardless of the subject, magnetically draw the eye, despite the fact that the images on them are far from providential or even optimistic. A number of works by this artist can be termed only as caricatures. This relationship between painting and drawing, a symbiotic combination of the eternal, ‘monumental’ oil painting technique and the seemingly fleeting wit of drawing is one of the recognizable features of Najafov’s artistic style. Sometimes it is blatant satire, and sometimes it is merely a hidden smile. The people inhabiting his paintings are not so much actual characters, but archetypes, in which someone, perhaps, might recognize themselves.