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Artwork by Gagik Vardanyan


Artist in Focus

Art is a gift that came to me naturally as a child and was encouraged by my father who had been an aspiring artist himself but stopped abruptly after WWII. He seemed happiest when he saw me drawing or painting.

During my teenage years, I lost my way and thought about quitting. When I told my father this, he looked at me with a sadness in his eyes that I never I had seen before. I realized he had been living vicariously through me when he whispered, “I guess my dream of having an artist child won't come true.” I knew had to continued painting and have not stopped since.

I was part of a small group of dissident artists who spearheaded the new abstract art movement in Armenia. The communist regime would shut down our exhibitions, destroy our paintings, and even imprison us on more than one occasion. This actually fueled our artistic rebellion.

After the violent uprisings and subsequent Independence of Armenia in the ‘90s, our country fell into a deep economic crisis. We experienced extreme poverty and did not even have firewood to keep us warm.

In 1999, I moved my family to Buenos Aires, Argentina—one of the most vibrant cities in Latin America where I learned new ideas, a new language, a new culture, new landscapes, new colors, and a sense of artistic freedom that altered my work dramatically.

Suddenly in 2011, I lived the darkest day of my life when I lost my older son Tomas who was just shy of his 25th birthday. The pain was and still is impossible to digest. This period was marked by a series of dark paintings filled with agony, fury, and many other terrible emotions.

A decade later, I move again, this time to California where I am rethinking my own existence as an artist. I began to re-discover and connect with parts of myself that I had forgotten or had never met. Inexplicably, I am painting with new colors, shapes, and dynamics. Alas, the rebellion of art still keeps me going.


Credentials

EDUCATION
Bachelor of Fine Arts - State Institute of Fine Arts, Yerevan, Armenia
Master of Fine Arts - University, National Academy of Armenia Arts, Yerevan Armenia

 

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS
"International Exhibition Castell Dell'Ovo", - Castell Dell'Ovo, Naples, Italy, 2020
"That Layered Look II"-Peter Frank, Curator, Tufenkian Art Gallery, Glendale CA, 2020
"Rizoma" - Roslin Art Gallery, Glendale CA, 2020
"Exhibition about Armenian Genocide" - ACE/121. Gallery, Glendale, CA, 2018
“Greatest Masters of Argentina” - Armenian Cultural Asociation, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2016
''Eggo Arte Fair" - Borges Cultural Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2013, 2014 & 2015
"New York Art Expo" - New York, NY, 2013
"Personal exhibition" - Sara García Uriburu Art Gallery. Buenos Aires, Argentina 2012
"Art Forum ARMENI”- Museum Castel-Dell'Ovo, Naples, Italy, 2010
"International Exhibition" - National Cultural Centre of Kuwait, Hall Abdul-Al-Salam, Al-Kuwait, 2010
"37 Work on Paper" Exhibition at Brand Library and Gallery, Glendale CA, 2008
"International Exhibition " - Vernissage Gallery of Fine Arts, Carmel CA, 2008

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS
Frank, Peter."Gagik Vardanyan/Gago: One Artist, Many Paths", 2019. https://gagikvardanyan.com/critiques

Hovhannisyan,Tamara."Prof. Gagik Vardanyan." The Art Of Collecting, September, 2018

 http://theartofcollecting.net/artist-of-editors-choice

 

AWARDS, GRANTS AND RESIDENCIES
"Artist of the Year" Pasadena Society of Arts, Pasadena California, 2008
1st Place Award, Annual Exhibition at the Pasadena Society of Arts, Pasadena California, 2007-2008
1st Place Award, Small Format Hall. EDED Art gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2005

2nd Place Award, Autumn's Hall. Espacio 10 Art gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2003

1st Place Award, Small Format Hall. Braque Art Gallery Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2002
1st Place Award, Multidisciplinary Hall. Espacio 10 Art Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2002
Honorable Mention, Landscape. City Hall S.A.A.P. Buenos Aires, Argentina,1999

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