Arshak Sarkissian: Recent Paintings
April 13 -May 2, 2015
Opening Reception: April 13 6 - 9 PM
330 Spring St New York, NY 10013
NEW YORK- Arshak Sarkissian's sprawling, densely populated canvases depict the sacred and the profane of a society in giddy flux, hungry for self-discovery and meaningful transformation. Sarkissian distills the fierce energies of an eclectic metropolis into tightly woven pastiches, in which the street life of the downtrodden and behind-the-curtain abandon of bacchanalian beauties at turns collide and converge. His drawings exhibit a complexity and subtlety that exceed imagination; he is one of the few artists capable of creating vast canvases with multiple figures and complex structure. As a painter he is, at the same time, an anthropologist of states of mind. He depicts animals along with his characters, a fact that also leaves room to physiognomic confusing interpretations.
The artist says of his work: “My art is about contemporary man, refracted through my imagination. This means that my task is creating figurative art, which however will be modern. Although I appeal to classic media – painting, graphics, round sculpture – I try to put in them the hue-and-cry of modern world, its complexity and controversy, depict modern man in his fantastic displays.
But I was greatly influenced by Renaissance art, especially the urge for mastering, particularly their meticulous approach to drawing, because my characters are being born in graphics, and if it is successful, they continue their lives in painting or sculpture. The other important factor that attracts me in Renaissance art is the synthesis of elements of real and magical.
I am convinced that the world is pluralistic, that it is not limited by physical reality. There are many worlds that are just as real and true as the physical reality. They are the worlds created by the art and literature. Although I give a great place to fantasy and expression, I consider the reality created on my paintings factual. For me that reality is an important way to recognize our own reality and human nature.
As an artist I am keen to explore human behavior, trying to get in them the expressiveness that I call personality. I am looking for people who create their personality by their biography, who have different layers in them, people who make experiments and change themselves. Such experiments make the personality either monster or hybrid with elements of fauna or flora.
I give my characters eccentric temperament, because it is an important component in making of personality. Animals play a big role in my paintings, bringing extra expression with them. Human and animal hybrids appear often, such as the humanoid creature with bird's head. I give great importance also to the dress or hairstyle trying to make them more exotic. All this expresses my internal aspirations for changes and for the new one.”
Among other private and public commissions Arshak designed the interior of passenger terminals in Zvartnots Armenia International Airport. Arshak Sarkissian was born in Gyumri, Armenia, into the family of artist Ararat Sarkissian, one of Armenia’s top artists and the representative to Armenia at the 2013 Venice Biennale. Arshak lives and works inYerevan, Armenia
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