Born into one of the most famous artistic families in Azerbaijan, Bahruz Kangarli continues the lineage through his work as a young contemporary painter. Bahruz was recognized as a talent at a young age – he was already exhibiting his paintings as a teenager. He attended the Azim Azimzade State Art School and the Azerbaijan State Academy of Arts, eventually obtaining his master’s degree in art. He has exhibited his work in Baku and abroad, participating in shows in Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Germany and Bulgaria. He has also held multiple solo exhibitions in Baku at SOCAR in 2009, the Baku Creative Centre in 2013, Kiçik QalArt Gallery in 2015 and Q Gallery in 2017. After being a member of the Young Artists’ Section at the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan since 2009, he joined the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan in 2017. In recent years he has been featured in various group exhibitions with other young artists, most recently at the White Gallery and the Centre for Contemporary Art in Baku, and the international art festival in Nakchivan in 2018. While his practice is primarily as a painter, in recent projects such as the VII International Art Festival ‘From Waste to Art’ at the Qala Reserve in Azerbaijan in 2018, his experimentation with installation art using recycled materials showed a new level of interest in his aesthetic practice.
As a painter, Bahruz’s style is expressive and emotive, shown through abstracted shapes on densely painted canvases. He is inspired by psychology, evident in his 2015 solo show ‘Face Control’ at Kiçik QalArt Gallery, where he exhibited a major collection of portraits painted from images that he memorized and then filtered through his own consciousness, the final result mingling his own emotions with the inner worlds of the individuals depicted in the artworks. The abstract and Cubist references in the work draw out the darker and more complicated nuances of human experience, often hidden from view. He explores the psychology of his subjects in other works as well. For his solo show ‘Rhythm of Jazz’ at Q Gallery in 2017, he captured the improvisational spirit of jazz music through a series of portraits filled with frenetic brush strokes in bright pigments, the musicians and instruments depicted on the canvas embodying the musical artform through shape and movement. In the group show ‘From Beginning to End’ at the White Gallery in 2018, he presented conceptual portraiture of people and objects rendered in a soft, muted palette. The dream-like images appear as if they have emerged from deep within the subconscious, with the compositions of layered paint blurring at the edges. Bahruz’s body of work explores these edges of memory and its emotional dimensions, capturing the intensity in which our past experiences continue to filter our reality today.