Artists Illustrating Boys' Fashions: Ivan the Mountain Artist (Tajikistan)

Figure 1.--The portrait of Ivan's son is an example of his photographic work. It wasa taken while the family was camping. Notice the rope belt.

My second mountain trip brought me into contact with a mountain artist. He would not be photographed. Here is the story: I came across Ivan while out in the mountains. The hike had followed the River Siama. We had followed a mountain path which had dropped down into a valley. There was a homestead here. A picturesque building in a remote area had to be of special interest. It belonged to an artist called Ivan. He was a Russian who came from Siberia. He is an artist and professional photographer. His photographs were displayed on the walls and he told me about his paintings, some of which he showed and let me take photographs of. He was also a professional climber and it was in this capacity that he had come to Tajikistan 20 years ago. He married and had a son, who features in many of the photographs on display. At that time he lived in Rogun but moved to Dushanbe. He came to the Siama River about 10 years ago and liked it very much. He decided to stay but his wife remained in Dushanbe and teaches at the Polytechnic University. He visits Dushanbe about twice a year. He grows his own food but visitors bring him supplies that he needs but can't make himself. He spends winter alone because it is not possible to get in or out of the valley until the spring and the snow goes. Ivan is a winter artist and uses the solitude for inspiration and the long winter days give him the opportunity to express his ideas and create paintings some of which are about Siberia. The portrait of his son is an example of his photographic work.

William Fergusson


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Created: December 2, 2003
Last updated: December 2, 2003