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How a paralyzed young man wrote 200 sci-fi pictures: Doomed to immobility Gennady Golobokov
How a paralyzed young man wrote 200 sci-fi pictures: Doomed to immobility Gennady Golobokov

In an instant, fate took from him everything except courage, will and talent. And for almost 26 years, he performed a feat every day, overcoming the unbearable pain that paralyzed his entire body. He knew that a person could overcome any circumstance if he had the perseverance to fight, and he fought with all his might, while infecting others with faith, hope and optimism. Doomed to immobility and short life amateur artist Gennady Grigorievich Golobokov for a quarter of a century, he wrote about 200 paintings, created hundreds of drawings and sketches. He also wrote great poetry, incredibly deep in content.

Gennady Golobokov is a Russian science fiction artist

The local and central press wrote about this selfless man at one time. People came to his house - acquaintances and strangers, they were interested not only in looking at the artist's works. Many went to the paralyzed person for advice. Disbelieved and confused in themselves, failed poets, artists, writers … They literally healed their souls and were inspired after conversations with the artist - a sick body, but an incredibly healthy mind.

Many Soviet cosmonauts, scientists, artists, writers and journalists were friends of Gennady Grigorievich. He received thousands of letters from strangers. All of them expressed words of admiration for the painter's courage and talent.

About the artist

Gennady Golobokov was born in 1935 in the village of Malaya Bykovka, Saratov Region. As a 5-year-old boy, he loved to climb on the roof of his house and gaze into the blue sky for a long time. He was one of the many village brats who were no different from each other. But it was only at school that his inquisitive nature, talent for creativity and the ability to dream gradually began to manifest. He often visited the school library, where he enthusiastically looked at the magazines "Tekhnika-Molodezhi", read articles of interest to him, and was also very fond of science fiction and books on astronomy. In high school, Gena told his friends that after graduating from school he would become an astrophysicist.

Self-portrait. / Sliding three-dimensional. Artist: Gennady Golobokov

True, the guy had another lesson that fascinated him almost as much as the stars. He was very fond of drawing. As soon as a piece of blank paper fell into his hands, he immediately became for Gena a kind of field for irrepressible imagination. And also he was engaged in woodcarving, sculpted figurines of Russian heroes from clay. Knowing the passions of Golobokov's student, teachers often recruited him to participate in various drawing and applied art competitions. Often, Gena won prizes for his work, not only in the region, but also in the region. And the boy secretly wrote poetry from everyone and was looking forward to the graduation class in order to get closer to his dream as soon as possible.

A leap that turned your whole life

But, a year before he received his matriculation certificate, a misfortune happened to the guy, which ruined all his plans. Who then could have guessed that a villainous fate had prepared a terrible test for him? One sunny summer day in 1951, Gennady and the guys went to the river - to dive, swim.Jumping from the high steep bank of the Balakovo river Linevka, the young man did not calculate either the trajectory of the jump, or the depth of the river - and hit his head hard on the sandy bottom.

"Friends". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

Friends, fortunately, quickly got their bearings and rushed into the river after Gena. They dragged him out already unconscious with a fracture of the cervical spine. The ambulance took the victim to the regional hospital, then to the regional one. As a result, the most complicated operation was performed at the Saratov Research Institute of Neurosurgery and Orthopedics. It seemed that the doctors had done the impossible, but the final diagnosis was made as a sentence: complete immobility and paralysis. At the same time, there is no hope of recovery.

At the age of 16, an absurd accident in an instant divided the life of a young man into "before" and "after". Gennady, realizing that he would never get out of bed, fell into terrible despair. He simply had neither the strength nor the desire for such a life. Although it was her life that the doctors guaranteed, saying that with proper care he could live with such a diagnosis for two or three decades. But how? … You can imagine the guy's despair, his sudden loneliness, and the oppressive thought that now almost everything has become inaccessible and impossible for him.

However, in spite of everything, 16-year-old Gennady Golobokov had no choice but to live. The heroes of the Soviet era, who, with the power of their human spirit, conquered both illness and weakness, became an example for the paralyzed young man. Pilot Alexei Maresyev, who flew without legs, the blind paralyzed writer Nikolai Ostrovsky and many other examples. In short, what the country was like then - such were its heroes and their ideals. There really was someone to take an example from a guy in trouble.

"Workers of Space". / "Continental Shelf". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

To the rescue of Gennady came a child's hobby for drawing. However, more than one year passed before he learned to move his hands and fingers limitedly. Daily stubborn exercises of specially designed gymnastics, hours of attempts to draw something, concentration exercises, reading, work on oneself - all this preceded the young man taking the first canvas in his hands. True, the first works were not very successful, but the novice self-taught artist, without despair, continued and continued to work. It is known that the muscles are more likely to get stronger in someone who swims against the current, and Gennady furiously trained not only his arms, but also the muscles of his soul.

"Painter". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

And after a few years, his mother primed for him meter-long canvases stretched on stretchers, which he put on his chest, and while lying down he began to write, holding his brush between convulsively clenched fingers, which remained practically motionless. Truly, the comprehension of the artistic craft was incredibly painful for him. Sometimes Gennady prescribed small details, holding a brush with his teeth. It was almost impossible to reach the middle of the canvas, so I finished the painting upside down. Over time, he learned to see what was written in any position. And he also found a playful explanation for this:. And he liked to write astronauts not because it was fashionable. He was close to them in strength of mind:.

"Parting". / "The bridge over the abyss." Artist: Gennady Golobokov

Having achieved quite good results in painting, Gennady decided to enter the Moscow Correspondence University of Arts. But, to his request from the selection committee, an answer came: applicants need a personal presence at the entrance exams, and for all without exception. Then Golobokov sends a letter and several of his works to the vice-president of the USSR Academy of Arts with a request to enter his position. After the application of the academician, the aspiring artist was enrolled in the university.

“The Great Ring of the Universe. Contact". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

In 1958, Gennady graduated from the painting department of the University of Arts in absentia and began to participate in all-Union competitions of amateur artists, while competing with perfectly healthy participants. So 10 years passed, and in 1967 the paralyzed artist became a laureate of the All-Union Festival of Amateur Arts.Moreover, none of the jury members even suspected of his illness. Gennady never advertised his biography, as he did not want any discounts for his illness. Every year the talent was revealed more and more deeply, and 7 years later, in 1974, all-Union and worldwide recognition came to him. And healthy people could hardly even imagine at what cost he got this glory.

Gennady Golobokov's paintings were exhibited at science fiction exhibitions in Moscow and 20 other cities of the USSR, and they also visited the capitals of all socialist countries, including Madagascar and Laos. And two more works of the artist from that distant time are in the center of aviation and astronautics in Houston, USA.

Farewell to the Earth. Artist: Gennady Golobokov

Years passed, and Gennady's severe attacks began to prevail more and more often. He foresaw the inevitable and always worked at the limit of his strength, not giving himself rest in order to do as much as possible. Every day he was incredibly busy: after the morning special exercises for his hands, he painted for several hours, read a lot. Often people went to their house to look at his new picture, or even just into the eyes of an extraordinary person. Or just talk about art, about the meaning of life. And after all, already well after midnight, Gennady took a notebook and worked on his next poem …

"Earth squirrel". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

Here is one of them - small, but very capacious, with a deep philosophical meaning:

"Flight". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

May 1978 was the last for Gennady Golobokov. The artist died suddenly in the prime of his talent practically with a brush in hand.

About paintings

"Skull of Kuchum". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

Gennady Golobokov began his creative career with works dedicated to the past and present of his country. From almost every piece of his, a young, happy and strong man, the creator of a new life, looked at the viewer. But over time, the artist began to paint an unknown future, literally saturated with notes of science fiction. It was in this theme that the creative abilities of the master were fully revealed.

And it all started with a futuristic magazine - "Tekhnika-Molodezhi", which he read from a young age and thanks to which, he fell in love with astronomy. And later, when Gennady became an artist, the publishing house supported him and published articles about him and reproductions of paintings on the pages of its magazine.

"Sower". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

Now a man of the future, strong and intelligent, armed with knowledge, was already looking at the viewer from Golobokov's paintings. Take, for example, the painting The Sower, in which the red-hot, cracked earth extends far beyond the horizon. A close-up of an astronaut scattering seeds. And, as we can see, after him the first shoots are already turning green. And for some reason, the hope immediately appears that the uninhabited, dying planet will become beautiful and fertile.

"Return". /"Monument". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

Or another canvas - "Monument", in which the viewer sees how the messenger of the Earth from a stone block carves a bust of Tsiolkovsky. Nearby is a woman with a baby in her arms … And finally, life has come to this dead planet.

"Research Institute of Genetics". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

His canvases also tell about the achievements of scientists. We still see topics that are relevant to us today, for example, a cloned mammoth ("Research Institute of Genetics"), the awakening of astronauts from cryosleep ("Exit from suspended animation").

"Way out of suspended animation." Artist: Gennady Golobokov

Strict graphics, bright local colors, in which the artist laid a deep symbolic meaning, made Golobokov's painting decorative. In his works, we do not see fantastic landscapes, aliens or supernatural machines of the future. Golobokov was the first science fiction artist to try to imagine and reveal the psychological appearance of the person of the future. Golobokov's heroes are beautiful, courageous people with a clear goal. They draw strength from the Earth, and are fueled by its powerful energy. Gennady dreamed of such a perfect person, for whom there would no longer be obstacles to his plans or deeds.

"A moment before landing." Artist: Gennady Golobokov

In 1973, at the International Exhibition of Science Fiction Painting "Space of Tomorrow", the jury chaired by cosmonaut-artist A. Leonov awarded the young artist Gennady Golobkov with a 1st degree diploma. Until his death, the artist, one after another, received first places in the competitions: "The World of Tomorrow", "Siberia Tomorrow", "Time - Space - Man".

"Bowl with the Sun". Artist: Gennady Golobokov

Delighted reviews of visitors, astronauts, scientists, artists, thousands of ordinary people came in a stream. We wrote laudatory articles for newspapers and magazines. Member of the Union of Artists of the USSR, pilot-cosmonaut A.Leonov gave the following assessment to the work of Gennady Golobokov:

"An Excursion into the Past." Artist: Gennady Golobokov

The true talent of the paralyzed artist turned out to be unbroken, he helped him to live and overcome all difficulties. In continuation of the topic, I would like to offer our reader a touching publication about a fragile woman who also fought staunchly with her incurable illness: How a blind Soviet ballerina became a world famous sculptor: Lina Po.

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