Born in 1952 in the village of Iskander, a former South Kazakhstan region now belonging to Uzbekistan, Smail Bayaliyev graduated from Tashkent College of the Arts. Since 1981, Bayalieyv has lived and worked in the city of Shymkent, Kazakhstan, where he was a part of the first stages of the formation of the art collective Kyzyl Tractor.
By the early 1990s, Kyzyl Tractor became one the most recognizable artistic phenomena of its time. Starting his artistic journey through painting and collage, Bayaliyev has slowly transmitted massive public art pieces, performances, and mixed-media artworks which often involve the use of kashma, central Asian wool.
Bayaliyev’s work centers around classical and regional themes, picturing still-lifes of horses and nomadic heritage that is encrypted in cultural codes of today’s society.
Bayaliev has created his own unconventional way of deconstructing and revisiting these themes. His sculptures of horses are often left undone and raw, uncovering the ontological incompleteness of those animals when it comes to their roles in the past vs. modern society. In his other series, Bayeliev was inspired by suprematism, surrealism, and cubism, placing those rather western movements into an authentic context of Central Asian crafts and motifs. An active and contributing member of Kyzyl Tractor, Bayaliev’s signature exhibitions have included the seventh biennial in Tashkent, 2003 quadrennial in Prague, ARTBAT FEST 8, and other local and international exhibitions.