Alexandra manukyan

The central theme that unites all my paintings examines how seemingly separate and isolated life experiences actually disguise the extent of our individual and communal bonds. The “masks” and the accompanying identities we all assume depending on the life role we must play, obstructs the conscious mind from acknowledging what truly unites us through the isolation and chaos: our shared encounters of pain, loss, desire, and longing for serenity and acceptance. The false facades we all manufacture to adapt and belong also renders most blind and lost in a world where the meaningless has somehow become meaningful and the idea of a shared honest self devoid of hidden agendas all too infrequent.

I focus on combining traditional oil painting techniques with surrealist symbolism to explore the presumably dystopian landscape of emotional and physical scars carried all too often amongst the female characters. However, the subject of my paintings refuse to fall into victimhood or self-loathing; instead, the women that often preoccupy my paintings figuratively and literally wear their wounds with resounding pride and empowerment. The mistakes of their pasts, the festering wounds of pain and loss, and the hauntingly icy stabs of betrayal, none of these specters weigh them down or define their destinies.

I depict the psychological condition of the character, so the masks are the symbols of the life role we must play and the accompanying identities like prosthetic limbs are the symbols of the emotional handicap and our shared encounters of pain, loss, desire, and longing for serenity and acceptance. Forceps are the symbols of manipulation. Candles are burnt-out feelings and dreams that are melting away. Faded backgrounds in white series, represent the connection and disconnection of the character with her background as if the whitewash of the background physically erases the personal history of the heroin. Everything becomes irrelevant and in the past, and all the pain and emotional hurt empower her to move forward and find her path.