Discover the Azerbaijani painter creating art with crude oil

6 February 2018

Azerbaijani artist Sabir Chopuroglu isn’t the only artist to use oils in their work — but he may be one of the few to harness crude oil as an artform.

Chopuroglu was first given a small bottle of crude oil — used for luxurious oil baths in the area’s Soviet-era sanatoriums — as a child, when he used the precious liquid to draw pictures of horses in his family home.

Now the 62-year-old, who studied art in both Tbilisi and Baku, mixes the crude oil with acrylics, tempera or oil paints to create a palette of sepia-tinged hues.

Using his fingers to spread the oil on his canvas, Chopuroglu’s works echo traditional Azerbaijani motifs — often alongside symbols of the modern oil industry driving the country’s economy. Each painting uses between 200-300g of oil, which Chopuroglu was once able to draw with a bucket from bubbling puddles in Baku’s Bayil district.

To see more of Chopuroglu’s work, visit his Facebook page by clicking here.