He was born in Gurzuf in 1923, in a big house which has survived and serves as the home for six families of postwar immigrants now. His artistic talents and tastes shaped during the so-called Crimean Tatar Renaissance, a brief flowering of arts and culture from 1923-28, in the early years of the Crimean Autonomous Republic, the flowering that was then drowned by a wave of harassment and repression in the late 1920s and early 1930s. A hard-working family, the Chubarovs were targeted as kulaks (rich peasants) and exiled to Tambov, before moving to Grozny in 1939. There, Chubarov graduated from a music school as a violinist. However, the war interrupted his artistic formation, as Chubarov was called up and sent to the frontlines, receiving a severe combat wound near Stalingrad. His leg had already been slated for amputation, but a compassionate surgeon performed several operations on the young soldier, saving the leg, but leaving Chubarov lame for life.
His creative activity peaked in the 1960s. Portraits of his contemporaries make up a large series of masterfully executed artworks, painted, typically for the time, in a realistic manner. They are deeply psychological, showing his models as vivacious and good-natured people with lively eyes. He finished his studies at the Leningrad Institute of Painting and Architecture in 1963 and went on to create etchings, lithographs, posters, and works of industrial graphics. The Art Fund of the USSR, many art museums and private collectors bought his works, seen as worthy of the Louvre’s attention.
However, the war in Chechnya interrupted the famous artist’s career. The elderly Chubarov painted a series called “The War in Chechnya: A People’s Tragedy, 1995” that stuns the viewer with its expressive, realistic images. An Honored Artist of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, Chubarov left Chechnya for good in 1997, leaving most of his paintings in the ruined Grozny and returning to the Crimea, where he settled down in Simferopol, but his artistic career was mostly over by this point.
His family managed to preserve the prominent realist painter’s works, and this exhibition is the first to be held in the Crimea. The artist returned to his compatriots from a distant and protracted journey, preserving the atmosphere and main features of his time as well as images of the typical people of that bygone age.