Latif Kazbekov was born in a German-Greek village in the mountains of Kazakhstan in 1954. His father died early which left his mother with ten sons to raise. Kazbekov’s mother, a woman of a strong character and will, managed to perform her parental role perfectly to produce hardworking, responsible and self-confident boys. Kazbekov was inclined toward creative work in his early years. While attending school, he devoted all of his time to carving wood figures, drawing and reading about art in books and art albums.
At the age of sixteen, the young man went to study in the Gogol Art School in Almaty where he was immediately accepted despite being insufficiently prepared. Five years of education in the painting department helped make him into a self-confident artist. Following the advice of his supervisor, Boris Pak, Kazbekov went to Petersburg to continue his education. He graduated from the department of graphics in the Academy of Arts in 1981. Kazbekov’s second passion was making graphics in books. His life became divided among the two fields, working on paintings in his workshop and making illustrations at home. Kazbekov has illustrated hundreds of books and has participated in graphic work and book illustration exhibitions in Russia and abroad. Illustrative work requires that the artist collaborate with the text, however, in painting the artist is the sole creator.
His unceasing passion to make new discoveries and changes led him to the unusual practice of using a press to make paper for his works out of raw materials. Kazbekov’s paintings show a glance that is directed into his soul. His paintings are the product of giving himself to the power of his inner-vision. All his life impressions, emotions and images become expressed in landscapes, where people become a part of nature transformed into an unanimated form of being.