To most, the ‘tip’ represents or signifies only a minuscule portion of a greater and large phenomenon; an ending, rather, tapering merely into a limited possibility where potential draws to an end. For a few others, though, the tip is just enough, and all that they really need. Salavat Fidai is one amongst the latter. In fact, for him, graphite tip is a whole world; it is an entire playground, and that is where he lets his skill, imagination and aptitude flourish.
Hailing from Russia, Salavat is a sculptor known over and around the world for his miniature sculptures that he carves out of pencil graphite. Yes, you read it correctly: an entire sculpture on just the tip of a pencil. Fidai, however, was not always an artist to the extent he now is, and the way is recognised or known to be the world over. Initially a lawyer by profession, he spent 20 years as one, while only dabbling (not as a professional) in his art. It was only then that he made it a decision to work full-time as an artist, looking for greater personal expression.
Digital photography was the main medium through which he actually made his entry into what he has now graduated to doing. It was in 2014 that Fidai began exploring different forms of art. While practising this, in the process, he bumped into miniature paintings. He thus started out with miniatures of sources that are considered to be timeless and classic in their very nature and existence: Van Gogh paintings, for example. He, however, would manifest these miniatures not on pencil graphite, but on anything and many things that were tiny enough, such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and matchboxes, as well. Further, pencil graphite came on to become the medium of his work, primarily.
There are not many individuals practising this form of art, owing to the tedious, demanding, time-consuming process, which can be a stern and sturdy test of one’s attitude and patience. The tips are of the graphite pencils are, anyway, very tiny and fragile. The intricacies that are involved in the final output are rather intense and, at the same time, also not very easy to master in a short period of time. One requires resilience, perseverance and, of course, endeavour. Salavat Fidai, definitely, has them all.