1991, oil on canvas, 120x85 cm.

BIRD CATCHERS_author Boris Laurentiev

Once in winter I cought cold and was laid up at home reading quite an interesting book - "Literary monuments of the Ancient Egypt". There was a tricky thing in it - an Egyptian nobleman in 23 or 25 century a.d. wrote a kind of lecture for his son to teach him how to live and described some professions of his time. "Mason - under the Sun all day long, his back hurts, his arms are tired, he feels bad". Or a soldier - "His back hurts of canes, he is dusted, his only joy is to rob". Nearly the same way he described farmers, barbers and others, and they all were tired, all felt bad, all suffered canes from their masters.

And suddenly - "Bird catcher - he does not see birds. When a flock flies by up in the sky he says: Oh, if only I had a net". An amazing characteristic of the profession - he does not see birds! When I read it, I remembered the face of security officer in a former military factory: the old man of Stalinist time, having one wall-eye and no other at all - but he walked around cheerfully and watched... Step by step the whole composition was built - prey in the sky, small boat with people, gyrfalcon in the hand, second bird catcher - and who is who here?