Passion: Art. I may live without my family, but I cannot live without art.
Influences: Usually, I do not create under the influence of any artist, but I love Modigliani so much that he is definitely present in some of my creations.
Worst project: I do not remember such a case. I’ve accomplished everything I’ve planned in life, and I don’t remember a bad experience to mention.
Greatest achievement: As a professional artist, being awarded with the Title of People’s Artist of Armenia was a great honour for me. On the second hand, as an ordinary person, I have been able to make important charities that I also consider an achievement. An example of that was in 1988, after the Armenian earthquake, when I donated my total income of few solo exhibitions, and bought a Volkswagen minibus especially for disabled children who survived the earthquake.
Future dreams: I dream of creating new artworks every single day.
You were born in Siberia, moved to Armenia and lived and worked in various geographies in Europe and America. How do you relate to your origin? How do you define yourself? How does that culture influence your work?
I carry the blood of an Armenian father and a German mother in my veins, and I think their mix, gave an interesting quality (laughs). I am punctual and hardworking like Germans, and I’m warm-hearted and emotional like Armenians, and I think those inner layers of both cultures are clearly seen in my artworks.
What are your motivations for working with a diversity of mediums from obsidian to copper or canvas? How do these works differ?
I’m an experimental person in nature, and that is one of the main reasons why I choose various mediums to work with. I don’t get satisfied working with only one medium. I get tired of sameness and diversity helps me have new creative ideas. When I was a child, I loved painting and sculpture equally, and I decided to study at the design department where we learned both.
You have had several solo exhibitions dedicated to you in your career. How important is it for your work to be presented in a solo versus a group exhibition setting?
Solo exhibitions are similar to mono-theatrical performances, the artist is alone on stage, and he should play his role alone without other players. The responsibility is bigger, but also the opportunity of displaying the inner world and mindset in full, is easier. I love both solo and group exhibitions, because I also love to witness the dialogue between different artists and artworks in the same frame.
Which is your most monumental work to date? Why?
My most monumental artworks are in the building of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia. One of them is our Holy Mountain Ararat, and the other one is Mount Aragats. Both artworks remind us of the Armenian History.
Your works are in important collections of former and current presidents of Russia, France and the United States of America. Why do you think your works are so much celebrated by world leaders?
What makes my art important and valued by art lovers in general, is the fact that they are unusual and unique, and their style is very different from all other styles. People love to have or donate unique works of art. That makes them feel unique too.
What is an important dialogue that artists and world leaders should have today?
Oh! What to talk about with such people! (Smiling) I doubt that they will be able to get into any dialogue with people of art. It’s a difficult question. But let’s put it this way. What do I really want to say to the world leaders? I want to say: Love the world and mankind more! That’s what I really want to say.
What kind of people should artists surround themselves with?
Professionally, I love to be surrounded with likeminded people, artists and colleagues. It is interesting to know how they think and feel. But I also love to be surrounded with more simple, ordinary and humble people like farmers. They are pure in spirit. They are the people of land and they have their own philosophy of life — something that pleases me.
What is the most important advice you would offer to a young Armenian artist?
I will only advise them to work hard. The key of all successes is being hardworking.
Describe the collector who would seek the most revelation from your work.
In my opinion, art collectors should collect artists at least with soul. I don’t like the type of collector who spends millions for tasteless artworks or for artworks that are just trendy. I appreciate and respect the art collectors who follow their own inner intellect when purchasing art, and who have the best art consultants to help them distinguish genuine art from false.
About Gala Art Gallery
Founded in 2012 by husband and wife team Noushik Mikayelian and Avetis Berberyan. Gala Art Gallery is one of the leading dealers in modern and contemporary Armenian art, that manages the careers of diverse established and emerging Armenian artists.
Recognized for the scope and quality of collection, Gala Art Gallery has long been a reputable source for art collectors and dealers. The unique quality of modern and contemporary art represented by the gallery has attracted a prestigious clientele of art connoisseurs.
The Gallery specializes in original paintings and sculpture by historically significant Armenian artists from the late nineteenth century to the present. In presenting modern and contemporary paintings, sculpture, collage and installations, Gala Art Gallery is doing much more than providing investment quality art. Founders are dedicated to share the heart and soul of Armenia, its gifted culture and profound history.