His name was Farhad. In my childhood, I’d dropped everything and ran out on the street as soon as I heard his unique whistling sound coming through the window from the backyard. We were ready to wander and to look for adventures. Our favorite spot was the oil fields. There were tens of kilometers on the Caspian Sea shore covered with oil derricks, tanks, big ditches of the processed oil products and endless rows of reeds. After school, or usually instead of it, we were headed there.
Farhad was few years older than me. He was a tall, athletic boy with big, kind, light-brown eyes. It should be a very rough comparison, but he reminded me of a beautiful thoroughbred dog.
He combined some sincere childish naivety and kindness with savage power. We often got into the fights with the other boys. Nobody could beat Farhad. In the fight, it was impossible to stop him. He literally clawed hold of his rival like a mad furious dog. He was into sports, played the guitar and was able to imitate a trumpet sound with his voice. He did it constantly. He was always playing his imaginary trumpet, changing the tone and character of his play depending on his mood. If we were walking in a hurry, he was playing some kind of a march. If a kid from our company had said or made something funny or, on the contrary, ridiculous, Farhad imitated a trumpet chord just like a circus musician emphasizing the clown shout in the arena. It was his special skill that everybody adored. His favorite musician was Chet Baker. Farhad was first who had told me about Chet and it was Farhad who played his songs on his imaginary trumpet for me to enjoy.
We were spending lots of time together. We could wander all day long from barn to barn, sitting on the edge of the huge ditch under scorching Baku sun, looking at the bubbles emerging on the black oil surface. These bubbles with rainbow shells had created different pictures in my head in the same way as tiny waves appeared on a surface when Farhad threw small stones into the ditch. I was looking at the oil silently while Farhad was playing his trumpet and breaking a smooth ditch surface by throwing stones in it. The midday heat, the oil smell, the sound of imaginary trumpet brought a special sense to our pointless pastime.
At the beginning of the 90th, when Azerbaijan war has begun, Farhad was enlisted. It was a turning point in his destiny.
He had been badly concussed in the battle. Even after coming back home, he didn’t manage to recover fully. To this day Farhad is in psychiatric clinic. I discovered it out when I was already living in Moscow. When I came to Baku, I decided to see him in that clinic. Unfortunately, he didn’t recognize me. I tried to speak with him, but he wouldn’t listen. He was sitting on a chair and quietly played his imaginary trumpet.
My life often puts me against those who unexpectedly return me to the memories about people who had been important for me in the past. Recently I had a photo shoot of my friend’s student, one exceptional musician.
During this shooting, he unexpectedly started imitating a trumpet sound with Chet Baker’s “Almost blue”, just in the same way as Farhad did.
When I heard this sound, I almost dropped my camera. This tiny moment instantly reminded me of my childhood friend. When I was planning the exposition “Past future”, I decided to devote one of my pictures to Farhad. I have chosen the photograph of that student as an initial image for the one of two so-called oil pictures. I wanted to recreate the texture as if this portrait on a canvas has appeared on a black oil surface of a ditch. I have titled this piece by the name of my childhood friend Farhad.