“Painting is a means of expressing feelings. And you can express those feelings only if you have experienced them. Otherwise, they will not fall on the canvas. The main thing is drawing. This is the basis of painting. And colors express emotions. Of course, it is impossible to be a painter without having knowledge of the culture and history of the place where you hail from. Creativity can be different. But it should not destroy beauty. It should not destroy life. I’m against violence. And I value freedom above all.”
Rinat Animaev was born on March 24, 1955, in Dushanbe – seventh child in a large Tatar family. From his childhood, he inhaled the smell of paint, listened to his father, the artist who advised his elder sister on many things: how to hold a pencil, how to work not with your shoulders but with only your hands so as not to get tired, and how to organize a sheet of paper. Later on, Rinat heard the same tips from his professors. He has remembered them all his life, and to this day they are important to him. When he was 10, he went to an art school, and after finishing it he entered the Dushanbe Art School. He was a student of professors M. Beknazarov, S. Kurbanov, and A. Besperstov. Then from 1978 to 1984 he continued studying in the Surikov Moscow State Art Institute. His professors were V. E. Artamonov, D. K. Mochalsky, and G. G. Korolyov. In 1986, he joined the USSR Union of Artists. Since 1989 Rinat Animaev has lived and worked in France. He is a member of the Artists’ Union of France and one of the ten best French artists of our time. His works are in museums and private collections in Russia, Yugoslavia, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, the USA, and Japan. Rinat is a participant of Moscow, All-Union, AllRussian, and foreign exhibitions. His permanent gallery is located in Brittany, in the city of Dinan (France). Annual exhibitions of his work are held in Paris and in other French cities. Rinat Animaev paints in the style of “simple realism”. He works in different genres, creating portraits, landscapes, and still lifes with brilliant knowledge of pictorial and graphic techniques. Rudolf Nureyev, Lev Gumilyov, Lyudmila Gurchenko, and many other celebrities have posed for him. In Moscow at Taganka, he painted a portrait of Vladimir Vysotsky and met the poet Ravil Bukharaev. Most of the Rinat Animaev’s works are sketches and paintings made in the open air in France. He appeals to everyday plain motives, discovering them for himself and for the viewer. Aesthetic ideals, professional honesty, virtuosity of manner, colorful textures, and plastic smears are characteristic of his works of art. He is an artist of the Moscow painting school. Rinat Animaev became famous as a portrait painter. His hand has painted portraits of Vladimir Vysotsky, Rudolf Nureyev, and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He got acquainted with Rudolf Nureyev at the end of the 1980s. By that time, Nureyev had already quit his post as the head of the Paris Opera troupe, and in his free time he often walked around the French capital. One of his favorite places was the artists’ district of Montmartre. It was in this area that several young artists of Tatar origin, who had left the USSR for different reasons, were trying to settle down. Having heard about the art studio of Rinat Animaev, Rudolf Nureyev visited it. During the conversation, which was in the Tatar language, the host did not waste his time – he painted a portrait of his famous guest. This painting for many years was kept in the artist’s studio near Versailles. Recently, Rinat Animaev presented the portrait of Rudolf Nureyev to one of the Kazan museums. His latest exhibition in Russia, “Paris Spring”, was held in the spring 2018 in the Kazan Kremlin at the personal invitation of the President of the Republic of Tatarstan. More than 120 paintings made by the artist especially for this exhibition were on display there. After the first successful exhibition in Kazan in the Gallery of Modern Art of the Kazan City Hall, Rinat dreamed of bringing more of his works to his historic homeland. His dream came true thanks to the active assistance of the President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov. “The artist’s profession is the freedom of creativity! And this freedom has no price! We are happy to see sunrises and sunsets, observe how flowers bloom and bees pollinate them, notice how everything changes in the rays of the sun, how tiny particles of moisture refract light and create various shades of colors. We are trying to tell the world about them.