Makhmut Vagapov began his art career as a painter back in 1970s when he, having graduated from the Kazan Art College, has participated for the first time in an exhibition of young artists of Tatarstan. One of his works from that exhibition was noted and later purchased by the Kazan Art Museum.
Makhmut works in diverse genres, particularly much in portraiture. His portraits are remarkable for a high precision of characteristics, accuracy in representation of model's state and attention to model's personality.
Makhmut's landscape paintings have are noted for lyricism, artist's intimate relationship with the world of nature, mastery of expressing volatile natural conditions, exquisitely developed tonal relationships and a great feel of plain air. He also works in still life and interiors, with things that surround a person in everyday life, often dull and prosaic, but sometimes solemn and festive.
In 1995 Vagapov has become a member of the Arts Council of Tatarstan, in 1996 a member of the Arts Council of Russia. He is an active participant of national and international exhibitions: in the U.S. (Seattle, 1992), exhibition 'Big Volga' (Nizhniy Novgorod, 1998), IX National Art Exhibit of Russia (Moscow, 1999), exhibition of Tatar artists in Turkey (Istanbul, 2001), as well as many state, city and group exhibitions. Works of Makhmut Vagapov are included in the collection of the Art Museum of Tatarstan, as well as art collections across the U.S., Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, and Poland.
For the last 17 years Makhmut Vagapov teaches painting and composition in the Art College of Kazan. Inculcating in his students artistic taste and serious approach to painting, Vagapov has educated more than 100 disciples, forty of which have continued their studies in prestigious art schools of Moscow, St. Petersburg and the West. Makhmut Vagapov is Director of the Kazan Art College Honoured Worker of Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan