Copyright © Arshak Nazarian
BIOGRAPHY by Arshak Nazarian
Arshak Nazarian was born on November 9, 1961 in Yerevan, Armenia. He inherited his love for fine arts from his father, outstanding Armenian sculptor Suren Nazaryan. Desire to become an artist gradually deepens and becomes certain in young Arshak’s soul. He receives professional education in Yerevan, where he studies sculpting at "Terlemezyan" fine arts school from 1976 to 1980, and then at the State fine arts & theatre institute from 1980 to 1986. Being a student, he studies history of art and becomes acquainted with the existing streams in contemporary art. Meanwhile, Arshak develops into principle and free artist. In 1986, after his graduation, Arshak Nazarian participates in a series of exhibitions organized by the Union of Artists in the cities of Yerevan and Gyumri (Armenia), as well as in Moscow (Russia), Panevezhis (Lithuania), and Khartoum (Sudan). In 1987, a group of talented artists, followers of their own principles in fine art, create "3rd Floor" group. Arshak participates in art shows with "3rd Floor" group. During this period, Arshak’s artistic principles and style are being outlined and ascertained. In 1990, Arshak Nazarian becomes a member of the Union of Artists of USSR. As a member of the Artists Union he continues to participate in different art shows. Soon, Soviet Union collapses and the country ends up in a deep political/economical crisis and instability. In 1992, among many others, Arshak moves to USA. Difficult circumstances of the first years hinder him from creating new artworks. In 1994 Arshak gets married. Since then begins a period of progress and creative renaissance. The first works of American period come to attest that Arshak’s art has preserved its quality. He participates in several group shows in different art galleries in New Jersey, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, San Francisco (USA), Paris (France), Skopje (Macedonia), Helsinki (Finland), Belgrade (Serbia), Berlin (Germany), Moscow (Russia) and Medellin (Colombia). Arshak Nazarian’s works are in private collections, as well as in Museums of Modern Art, Yerevan (Armenia), and Medellin (Colombia), in the Museum of Ethnography of Armenia and in the State picture gallery of Vanadzor (Armenia). Arshak Nazarian resides and works in Glendale, California.
ARSHAK NAZARIAN by artist Sev
Arshak nazarian is a man of exceptional charm, an excellent sculptor, and a high-class master of his art. He is loving and caring husband, father, and son. honest, learned, modest, sincere, and plain; characteristics that illustrate Arshak for certain and are qualities which are valued in all civilized times and cultures, however, in reality, recognized by society as useless and, in some instances even harmful. Therefore, always a few individuals like Arshak had and have unpretentious courage to follow their individual principles. Arshak is an artist by nature in the very meaning of the word. He is a hereditary sculptor. Inherited talent and knowledge of handling media have not only been used for their purpose but have been enriched with Arshak’s spirit and brought to virtuosity. Well harmonizing natural gift with high human qualities, absolutely free of arrogance and egoism, he continuously, without haste, achieves perfection as a creator. Arshak earns his daily bread by making sculptural maquettes of popular cartoon characters for such famous companies as Warner Bros. and Universal Studios. Being an organically integral artist, he does not divide his life into fragments of private life, earnings and creative work. As an inwardly free person, he is constantly in creative process, therefore Arshak’s mode of earning a living does not detract him away from his primary artistic goals. Unfortunately, means of earning often rises like a diabolic underwater reef in an artist’s creative life. The artist has to possess an exceptional realized devotion to his art, and particular sense of proportion, in order to remain afloat and not get hampered forever in tempting commercial mirages. Arshak possesses that special devotion to his art and sound sense of proportion. Objectively, his works are not flash innovation. They do not make one exclaim in wonder Eureka! Nevertheless, they are not banal cultural imitations either, which is unfortunately often occurring sin of contemporary art. Seeing his unique art, one can not remain indifferent, and knowing Arshak as a person, one will recognize that his creations are as sincere and open to the world as their narrator is. These pieces of artwork are not only created with irreproachable skill, but, above all, with love and deep understanding of the goal, established by the author himself. Arshak melts down features of different trends and tendencies of contemporary art into the crater of his creations. He attains this not eclectically, but creatively transforms them into his, typical only to him, series of unique images. The artist’s succinctness in everyday life is successively reflects in his art also. Arshak’s works are restrained, sometimes even silent, but like their creator, never lose their cheerfulness, passion, kind and light humor. His creations are the meeting place of pure authentic idea with turbulent non-refined nature of "Homo Sapiens." Step by step, being in slow hurry, without false ambition and pretensions, Arshak Nazarian is doing his modest, but important work. It may be bravely said that he is fulfilling an artist’s mission of realization and preservation of spirit of freedom and life granted to man. His own spirit is never satisfied only with the desire to stand amidst the admirable and well-known artists. He longs for greater; simply to be an Artist.
THE UNKNOWN COLOR by artist Achot Achot
Perhaps we could talk about the sky; a completely unknown substance to the spectator. In Arshak Nazarian’s colorful surfaces the viewer will not find neither the familiar blue, where from time to time jet planes leave their trails, nor the sunset’s red... For one clear reason; Arshak’s sky is in a different location. A location clear only to the artist himself. The location of the sky has changed. The shift process cannot be viewed as a mechanical motion, because the function of the sky here is different. The sky represents a certain moral landscape, protected by the artist’s eagerness and firm will. It is sometimes protected to such a degree, that for the spectator to be able to invade that space, he has to reconsider his own personal moral code. Perhaps we could talk about the earth. Try to separate the firmament from the soil. Try to extricate the soil from the earth... Ask Arshak Nazarian why his soil is so colorful? ...Or just look at how he eliminates the numerous objects to which we all tenaciously hang on to ...To give us an air instead. Therefore, it is logical to discuss air ...But, how is it possible to differentiate air from the familiar oxygen? It is clear. The artist imparts new meaning to the colors. That is what brakes through daily existence to create a new vital territory. After all, isn’t it our dream to discover the place where our freedom does not depend on our kinsman’s presence, and from his ambitious or Impartial views? In his works, Arshak Nazarian constantly denotes the horizon line. That is to say, let us discuss boundaries... Take a little longer look at these paintings, and you will understand that the discourse is not about the line, but rather the artist’s everlasting status; to always exist in-between the earth and the sky.But there is no space there... You might exclaim. Look at those paintings for a while longer, and you will see that that territory is right behind the line. But in order to go there, you must cleanse your hearts beforehand...
ARSHAK NAZARIAN by art critic Choghakate Kazarian
Arshak nazarian uses paint as a plastic material. His particular technique is the application of acrylic gel onto a generally square-formatted canvas, which he particularly likes for its stability, being a perfect and regular form that allows a more concentrate composition. His paintings are formed by two colored zones, divided by a line crossing the canvas. These two color fields converge on this dividing zone that is overrun by thick masses of paint. His education as a sculptor lead Nazarian to use paint as a sculptural mass and got him especially interested in the plasticity of the pictorial material, but the transition to bi-dimensional creation has lead him to a new interest in color. He has gone up from his first monochrome works to two or three colors. The color masses are placed side by side in varying volumetric proportions where the surface of each color can change. By these minimalist ways of thick color surfaces, he creates a bipartite horizontal structure. Only some very rare paintings, belonging to his early period’s experimentations, have a vertical composition. Arshak Nazarian prefers horizontal compositions that create a balance situation to the public. This frontier is not that much a break between two entities but more a meeting of two elements that, by surpassing their parting limit, interpenetrate like sky and earth. Some of his earliest works had very precise titles that have a direct link to the creating process of the work. Later the titles became more and more "abstract" to fit the expressionist minimalism of the paintings, as we could see in his individual exhibition in October 2005 in Paris, where he has already taken part in group shows like "Extreme Coupling" or "Ego." However, his work is not the outcome of a pre-established theory preceding creation, because his approach proceeds from an intuitive and tactile process.
He lives and works in Los Angeles.