miniature book: MYSTERIES (10"x7")
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In the years before photographic advancements, Maurice Golubov worked as a detail artist in a commercial studio, rendering fabric textures of clothing printed in Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward catalogs. The work was seasonal and purely mechanical, requiring no aesthetic judgement whatsoever - this, in fact, was the very reason he chose to do it, as there was no conflict with his art. The technical requirements for this job, however, were very rigorous, often requiring the use of single-hair brushes and other tools demanding exacting skill. Golubov quickly became very proficient and was able to finish his workload ahead of schedule.

 

He was a great admirer of ancient Persian miniatures; creating miniature paintings came naturally to him. He filled his "down time" by making miniature paintings on the job, often in the margins of his commercial work. He created these miniatures with all the structure, color variation and detail of much larger works, utilizing the same tools required by the catalog renderings. Furthermore, he was able to carry home this work, in his pocket, every night, on the Brighton Beach subway.

 

Golubov would take these small paintings and paste them into sketchbooks, which he then called "Miniature Books", sometimes assigning them themes such as "Wanderers", "Mysteries", "Soul's Journey" etc. Like the ancient books, rather than being exhibited, they would simply be passed around to guests at the many dinners and social evenings that took place in his home. While these miniatures sometimes inspired large paintings Golubov considered them important works unto themselves and continued to work at this scale long after he retired from commercial illustration.