Emerging Artists | Zufar Bikbov

Zufar Bikbov, Lights of Laguna, oil, 16 x 20.

Zufar Bikbov, Lights of Laguna, oil, 16 x 20.

This story was featured in the January 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  January 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

Many artists dream of making art their exclusive profession, but for Zufar Bikbov, who earned a physician’s degree in Russia and today is completing his physician rotations in Connecticut, art enhances his career aspirations in health care. “Without art I will not survive as a physician,” says the avid plein-air painter. “Art keeps me sensitive to my own soul, and to my patients.” 

Bikbov attributes his early artistic growth to his father, a gifted landscape painter and engineer, but adds that his father never pushed him to become an artist. Exhibiting prodigious talent (he created his first nocturne at around age 5), Bikbov painted village scenes and historic sites near his home in a suburb of Kazan along the Volga River. He graduated cum laude from Zelenodolsk Art School when he was just 14 years old, but chose to study his second passion—medicine—in college. Even then, however, he never stopped painting.

Since Bikbov has been painting en plein air in the United States, he says his landscapes and townscapes—which still bear marks of Russian Impressionism—have acquired “higher key colors.” They’re brighter, he adds, with “more joy to them.” For the past three years, Bikbov snapped up artists’ choice awards at Plein Air Easton, and in October, he won the Irvine Museum Award at the Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational for LIGHTS OF LAGUNA.

Although Bikbov is making plans to begin a medical residency, he says he expects his need for painting will long outlive his need to practice medicine. “I can’t live without it,” he says. “It’s my air.” See Bikbov’s work at Highlands Art Gallery, Lambertville, NJ; Gallery at Kent Art Association, Kent, CT; and www.zufar.com. —Kim Agricola

This story was featured in the January 2017 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art  January 2017 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story.

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