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Drawing in grand metamorphosis

The Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art will showcase a drawing exhibition by Arshak Sarkissian entitled Tera-Genesis as of tomorrow at 8pm.

Sarkissian’s art revolves around contemporary man, the complexities and controversies that surround him as well as his metaphysical peculiarities as refracted through the artist’s imagination. Convinced that the world is a pluralistic place that is not just limited to physical reality and in which many worlds – directly inspired by arts and literature – are just as factual, his world is informed by the Magic Realism of South America as well as Asiatic Shamanistic traditions.

Therefore Sarkissian illustrates the supernatural aspects of everyday life in his art. For him as an artist, the comprehension of multidimensional realities is fundamental in recognising man’s own reality, and he is fascinated by exploring the extremes of human behaviour and nature.

Sarkissian’s study of the human personality’s multitude of dimensions comes out in his drawings, which are peopled with self-conscious entities that seem to be in psychological experiments with themselves in a process of self-discovery and evolution. It is through such experiments that the personality gives way to the genesis of either a monstrous abnormality or a hybrid of fauna or flora, until human and inhuman ultimately become indistinguishable before the next stage of metamorphosis.

The drawings express the artist’s never-ending yearning for change and the novel. They are figurative as well as contemporary, and are greatly influenced by Renaissance art. His characters have an eccentric temperament and an exotic disposition, and his animal hybrids always reveal extra dimensions and expressions along the way. They emerge from an ancient world that was populated by half human, half animal prototypes, whose mythologies revealed complex worlds. The drawings, however, place these creatures in a post-modern, contemporary world where they still struggle with their daemons.

Sarkissian, from Armenia, studied at the National Aesthetic Centre of Art in Armenia and went on to participate in a residency under Stass Paraskos at Lemba Art School in Cyprus supported by the Pharos Arts Foundation.

The artist has had solo shows at the Albemarle Gallery in London, Gavriel Gallery in Bremen, Mildberry Gallery in Moscow, in Paris and New York, and participated in group exhibitions in the Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art and the Gyumri International Biennale in Armenia, the Charlie Smith Gallery in London, the Harvest Gallery in California and the Marie Pavgas Art Gallery in North Carolina.

He has been commissioned to create work for the passenger terminals at Zvartnots International Airport in Armenia. He has participated in numerous art projects, among others, as part of his residency in the OMI International Arts Centre in New York, in the “Stand Up For Your Rights” Design and Illustration Programme in Buntingford, UK, and the Andorran National Commission for the UNESCO International Art Camp in 2014. Sarkissian works and lives in Yerevan, Armenia. His works can be found in several important private collections.

The exhibition will run at the Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art until July 29 and can be viewed by appointment after the initial opening tomorrow.

Tera-Genesis
Solo drawing exhibition by Arshak Sarkissian. Opens July 1 at 8pm until July 29. Pharos Centre for Contemporary Art, 24 Dem. Severis Ave, Nicosia. Tel: 22-663871

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