Bronze Beauty Creator from Minsk
A modest sculptor Vladimir Zhbanov is always confused when he is referred to as a creator of a new city sculpture in Minsk. However, he was the first to locate bronze figures without prudish pedestals in the streets of the Belarusian capital. The sculptures of this kind have been common for a long time to the citizens in the whole world but not in our country. Until the innovations, suggested by Zhbanov.
To tell the truth, the city authorities also contributed to this. On their permission “Minchanka” (“A Girl from Minsk”) has become a familiar sight to the passers-by in Mychailovsky Avenue which stretches behind the city mayoralty not far from Central Railway Station. A bronze figure of a long-legged girl sitting on a bench adds special charm to this place and attracts attention of both citizens and guests of the city. Vladimir Zhbanov confesses that initially the model was a ballerina. At that time he could hardly imagine that the sculpture would decorate the city.
Vladimir Zhbanov lives an ordinary life. He is a former soldier; he was at war in Afghanistan. By the way that is probably the reason why he had a lot of orders for the monuments to soldiers-internationalists, which were installed in many places around the country some time ago. He has never been short of money but his creative potential wasn’t exhausted. He created tiny models of poetical bronze sculptures, which were as “light” as bronze allowed them to be. Almost accidentally one of these sculptures was noticed by the architecture that planned Mychailovsky Avenue. The sculpture was accepted. Then it was followed by another one. “A Smoking Man” is a sculptural portrait of Vladimir Golynsky, an ambitious and well-to-do film producer. Golynsky had died before he saw the sculptural portrait which was made by his request. Nevertheless, in such a way he presented himself to the city in this amusing embodiment.
The third sculpture in this tiny Avenue is a small girl. She looks so defenseless with this holey umbrella of hers! This sculpture is the response of its creator to the ridiculous tragedy near the underground station Nemiga which took lives of 53 people; most of them young girls aged 15-17.
Zhbanov has become a recognized city sculptor. No wonder that the city authorities need his service when equipping the city with modern amenities. There are a number of his sculptures near the central trade market “Komarovka”. One can see “Photographer”, “Baryshnya” (“Young Lady”) with a little dog nearby, “Torgovka”, “Gusi” (“Geese”), “Horse” which is very popular with children. There is a bronze sculpture of Russian Baths-man in the yard of the city bath-house. A “Young Lady” seeing off the guests of Belarusian capital will soon appear near Central Railway Station.
Another city of our Republic Mogilev can also boast Zhbanov’s masterpieces now. A mysterious astrologer surrounded by zodiac signs has recently appeared in the Star, the central square of Mogilev.