Karen Aghamyan


Shagen Khachatryan

Equipped with special knowledge and devoted to art, professional artist should intuitively feel how important it is  to follow traditions. He should realize that something new, similar to a young sprig of a huge tree, can only spring from a solid underpinning. This is Karen Aghamyan and his concept of creative thinking. Aghamyan one of those artists who started his artistic career in the last quarter of the previous century having a strong belief in rich and vivifying traditions of his native art.

In Aghamyan's works, this link with tradition can be seen primarily in the balanced, elaborate design of his pictures, the roots of which can be traced to the Armenian architecture with its constructive logic. To stress it and make it more tangible, the artist attempts to create in his canvas a rather nebulous atmosphere. Figures and objects resembling sculpture are accurately placed not only in parallel to the plane, but go inward. Using this technique, Aghamyan seems to open some imaginary window and shows illusory, unreal space somehow resembling space abyss, where each object and figure finds its place being invisibly connected with others and reflected in each other. We can see some philosophical implication here: everything in this world is interconnected, everything is on ongoing motion.

I would like to illustrate this idea with one example. In his picture "Diaspora" in the distant view along full width of the canvas one can see Ararat - an ancient symbol of Armenia. From the sides of the mountain, approaching the viewer and gradually getting bigger, "run down" columns of shadow - figures and in each of them we can see Ararat. The idea of the artist is quite clear: people who had survived genocide were scattered all over the world and in other countries they created their own hearth and home, their small Armenia. At the same time, their energy, zest for life, and their faith were