Said Atabekov (Uzbekistan) was born in the village of Bes Terek in Uzbekistan in 1965. He graduated from Shymkent Art College in Kazakhstan where he currently lives and works. He was a founding member of Kyzyl Traktor (Red Tractor), the first avant-garde artistic group founded in southern Kazakhstan after Perestroika. Atabekov's first solo exhibition in 1993, entitled I is not We, was a clear affirmation of a new individual voice in contrast to the traditional Soviet aesthetic of "collectivism." This exhibition proposed an important alternative to a post-Soviet environment. He continues to focus his attention on Central Asia: its customs, daily life, legends, and the history of the area. The artist's work has been exhibited widely throughout the world: Moscow, Russia, Vilnus, Berlin, Geneva, Prague, Mexico City, and Italy.
Prominent recent exhibitions include:
I Dream of the Stans: New Central Asian Video, curated by Leeza Ahmady at
Winkleman Gallery, New York; traveled to Museo de Arte El Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
Time of the Storytellers, Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland
The Paradox of Polarity: Contemporary Art from Central Asia, curated by Leeza Ahmady at Bose Pacia, New York
Central Asia Pavilion, 51st Venice Biennale, Palazzo Pisani, Venice, Italy