“I was born and raised in Armenia. Since a very young age my parents engaged me in various after school programs including art school. After art school I graduated from Fine Art College, and later from State Pedagogical University where I majored in Teaching Fine Arts. When my family and I immigrated to US in 1990, I decided to study Fashion Design.
“After graduating Fashion school I worked for many years as a Fashion Designer. At some point in my career I had to learn graphic design, and stylize fabrics and design screen prints, so I had to take courses at UCLA, and some additional private classes in graphic design.
“Later when I became really proficient in graphic design and various graphic applications I started freelancing for different Entertainment Agencies and designed movie posters.
“For all these years, regardless of all the changes in my professional career, I have continued painting and drawing, and stayed true to art. For the past several years I quit working for Fashion and Graphic industries, and have been doing fine arts only, and teaching art classes in my studio.”
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 for 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 connection and disconnection of the character with her background, as if the white wash 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.