Contemporary Primeval Excellence with Dashi Namdakov
Written by: Kwesi Adjin All Images courtesy of Dashi Namdakov

Hailing from Russia, Dashi Namdakov is as accomplished an artist as they come.  His sculptures are powerful, somber, majestic and spiritual – all at the same time.  There is a silent power that emanates from his work and his forms are so heartbreakingly beautiful that you are just so thankful to be able to witness them.  A self-professed nomad, Dashi is a throwback to ancient artists who had the ability to transcend time and space.  His work is polished but yet emotionally raw.  We could go on and on describing our spontaneous reaction to his glorious work but the best way to understand Dashi’s brilliance is to see it for yourself.  Style.No.Chaser is utterly honored  to attain an interview with this master.  Read the interview and view some of Dashi’s work below. 

“My main tool is my artistic language. I do not make an effort to create a …”

What does your art mean to you?
It is my passion and it is something I need to do. It is the essence of my life and everything I am.  In other words, I have a deep need for creativity and if what I do was not called art, I would still draw, sculpt and create.

How do you describe your form of art?
This is a tricky question, but I’ll try to find an answer.  Mine is one of many styles of art – just a drop in the ocean of styles of the 21st century. My mixed mentality determines my implementation.  I was born and brought up in Asia and I have been working in Europe, therefore, I believe my diversity creates a unique interaction that informs my style and art form.

What tools do you use for the creation of your work and how did you create your personal art style?
My main tool is my artistic language. I do not make an effort to create a style specific to me.  I  look, work, and think a lot.  My effort and observation are my real tools.
I believe that one needs to be able to draw, create a composition, choose appropriate material and execute the image in the chosen material, if you want to sculpt.  This is all common knowledge.  However, you need to feel the things you are creating, so I think the main tool is to feel and love what you do.

Has commercial and critical acclaim affected your art in any way?
My art and I have been dramatically influenced by different circumstances from the 1990s to today.  When I started, I had to seriously think about earnings because I was responsible for my team and family. I was/am really lucky to have friendly critics who took the time to investigate my creativity. Due to this, I did not have to drastically change my art which surprisingly, was very well accepted in the West.

What is the worst critique you have ever received about your work? What is the best compliment that you have received about your work?
Let’s start with the best compliment –  I liked and was flattered by one journalist from  “Kommersant” who called me an “Avatar of the BC era”, because he noticed that I was entrenching ancient art into contemporary form which is not easy to do.

As for the critique – I really try not to focus on criticism because there is no artist in history who did not receive controversial feedback.  Is there?

How do you choose subject matter for your work?
New ideas are born on their own. I do not choose them. Associations, allegories, images from my subconscious – this is where my ideas stem from.

Which artist/s do you look up to the most?

I love and respect all artists. There are so many amazing people creating art with no acclamation.  There are some amazing and obscure painters from different cities in Russia that are not internationally known, but what they do is extremely impressive. But to me, the most important artists are those from ancient Assyria or Egypt – nobody knows their names, but their contribution to the art world is hard to overestimate.

Since Style.No.Chaser is a men’s lifestyle magazine, what attributes/items/clothing /etc. do you think define a man?

I would dare to say simple things – a man is obliged to take responsibility for his family and those he loves. Accordingly, the main attribute of a man is his lust for life. Of course there are also some material things that add to a man – I like sporty comfortable shoes and good watches. I have created a jewelry collection (see one of the pieces below) which I want to expand (particularly the men’s collection). For the collection, I want to use imperial details – either big unpolished stones, or a mix of metals to emphasize aggressive male attributes.

What is your personal life philosophy?
Well, as a nomad, I would say “My home is where I am”. It helps to move forward without wasting time on rueful feelings and the impact of change.

How can people learn more about your current and upcoming works?
My website has all the information about my current projects. I am now exhibiting my works in Beijing, China.  In January, the show will go on tour. There is another exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery in London. I also just finished two museum projects in Russia, one in the State Historical Museum in Moscow and the other in a museum in Krasnoyarsk. I am also planning a 2015 exhibition in Florence. 

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