Portraiture and Proximity: ‘Official’ Artists and the State-ization of the Market in Post-Soviet Kazakhstan


Our recent PhD graduate, Zhanara Nauruzbayeva, recently published an article in Ethnos (Volume 76, Issue 3, 2011 ). The article traces the production and circulation of state officials' portraits in post-Soviet Kazakhstan, as visual artists engaged in the cultivation of an art market after the dismantling of socialist-era state sponsorship. She argues that these portraits of the president and other high-ranking officials should be considered as an instance of commercialisation of art. Portraiture invoked proximity of artists to their powerful sitters, government officials, and consequently made artists' work more attractive to a particular kind of domestic buyer. To read her article or to download a copy of her article, see Ethnos.