Working with a Living Artist

Many wise and knowledgeable collectors and action houses spend countless hours looking and hunting for that piece of art treasured by many and probably painted by a deceased artist.  Even at Collectors Galleries, I frequently get asked the question, how old is this artist? Meaning, will he pass away soon? Will my piece of art appraise once the artist is gone? While those questions are important, and a reality in the finances of art collecting, the value of working with a living artist is priceless, and I have a true story to share.

Cristian Korn

In 2017, for the second year in a row, Cristian Korn, the star of Collectors Galleries, came from Germany to the gallery in Carmel for his second art reception.  His first trip to the Gallery had been in 2016 when he met many of the collectors and appreciators of his works; many of us becoming instant friends and family to the artist.  One of those was Tamara’s dog.  Tamara, owner of the gallery, hosts Cristian at her house when he comes to visit.

On that first night that Cristian stayed at her house, he was awoken by a snoring sound in his room.  After looking around and under the bed he finally found Jack, a 7-year-old West Highland Terrier, who became Cristian’s roommate for the next remaining two weeks of his visit at the house.

Jack Wearing Glasses

Jack was born in the US and had been adopted by Tamara’s daughter as a gift to her children while they were living in Mexico.  Upon the family’s return to Carmel, Jack was given to Tamara as she had a much larger state for Jack to play. This means that Jack flew from Texas to Mexico City and back to Carmel, California.

A typical Westie, he began guarding his mama and her property against the many different animals in the area. As time passed, Tamara had become too busy at the gallery, so she had begun to bring Jack to work with her.  Every day, Jack and Tamara would come to work and greet the clients together.

Cristian, upon meeting his new friend, was surprised at Jack’s loyalty and character. Cristian started making drawings and sketches of Jack in the house.  The Cristian-Jack relationship inspired a beautiful series of works painted by Cristian between 2016 and 2017 called, “Le Mansion de Jack.”

Upon Cristian’s return to the gallery in 2017 he reconnected with all his friends and collectors, but he especially reconnected with Jack, who began snoring while sharing his room again with Cristian.

La Maison de Jack

Jack was a real joy at the gallery.  He changed the daily routine and brightened every day with his loving playful attitude.  He was full of facial expressions, looking especially charming whenever he was disciplined and given time out.  He shared my chair and trained me to sit just on the edge as he needed the rest of the chair for his daily rest.  Being mostly a cat lover myself, this was my first time taking the time to make the acquaintance and the friendship of dog.

Debbie & Jack at Collectors Galleries

Jack quickly stopped being just a dog and became a co-worker, a friend, part of the team, and one of our most treasured arts at the gallery.

So, in 2017, 2 days after Cristian’s arrival, Jack sprang out of the gallery chasing after a dog and was fatally hit by a car driving too fast down San Carlos St.  I picked him up from the street and handed him over to Cristian so I could drive to the nearest pet hospital to get Jack some help, but, Jack did not make it.  He passed away on Sunday August 13th 2017, 6 days away from the Gallery’s biggest event of the year, Cristian’s art reception.

Needless to say, this tragic event changed our lives and our perspective of friendship, camaraderie, love and art.  I understood that love and friendship come in different forms, and that something so little can have such presence and personality.  Upon Jack’s passing I felt deep respect and honor to have met him.  It was truly as if an old, wise friend had passed.

The night of Jack’s passing, friends and family gathered around him for a last good-bye.  We brought flowers, tears, and a large stone to serve as his headstone.  On it, we all wrote our own unique words of parting love and gratitude. Jack had been the matchmaker between me and my boyfriend.    Tamara wrote in beautiful poetry to Jack.

Tamara and Jack
La Maison sans Jack

Cristian, of course, during his grieving process, went home and painted his memories of Jack in Canvas, and “Le Mansion San Jack” was born.  We all paid our tribute to Jack in our own way.  It was then that I realized the priceless importance of art and of working with a living artist.  Christ himself even said, “There is nothing like the living word.”  Jack, through all of our differing words and the memories in them, lives on.

This story about Jack also brings us to a question of art and transcendence.  Why do we collect art of dead masters?  Does art exist only as something that has captured the past, or could it be that, just like Cristian, artists have eloquently captured an instant of time? As artist becomes historian and visionary could it be only a curiosity of the past?

What brings us to forgotten pasts? In the case of Da Vinci, it could be that he transcended himself, leaving pieces of living soul in his art, giving or leaving us glimpses of eternity and possibility in canvas that attract us even today.  Da Vinci himself advised, “Avoid studies of which results die with the worker.”  Is he pointing out this transcending with his work and his words?

Working with a living artist means you have a brainstorming companion who speaks the words and experiences of the time. Collecting their works means somehow, both of you understand each other.  The similarities of existence are recognized by the collector who elegantly cries out, and by the artist, who masterfully paints. They each become companions who can express contemporary living, sorrows and joys. While many of us look to birthing the next generations to transcend living, many artists consider their art work the next transcendental generation. Cristian Korn is not worrying or asking about transcending, he is too busy painting it.

My friendship with Jack reminds me of the words of 1986 Noble Peace Prize Winner Elie Wiesel as follows:

“And what is a friend? More than a father, more than a brother: a traveling companion, with him, you can conquer the impossible, even if you must lose it later. Friendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing. It is a friend that you communicate the awakening of a desire, the birth of a vision or a terror, the anguish of seeing the sun disappear or of finding that order and justice are nWo more. That’s what you can talk about with a friend. Is the soul immortal, and if so why are we afraid to die? If God exists, how can we lay claim to freedom, since He is its beginning and its end? What is death, when you come down to it? The closing of a parenthesis, and nothing more? And what about life? In the mouth of a philosopher, these questions may have a false ring, but asked during adolescence or friendship, they have the power to change being: a look burns and ordinary gestures tend to transcend themselves. What is a friend? Someone who for the first time makes you aware of your loneliness and his, and helps you to escape so you in turn can help him. Thanks to him who you can hold your tongue without shame and talk freely without risk. That’s it.”

Tania Scroggie

Creativity and Inheritance – Margarette Asatryan

At birth, do we take our first breath, release or first scream, and open our eyes with some inheritance of talents and flaws?  I am sure there are hundreds of scientific research and papers out there relating to this, but, you know what, I don’t want to read or research them.  I want to relay on the observations that I carry with me as one of the blessings from being in the beautiful business of marketing and art.  In a way, these two words, creativity and inheritance, resemble couples that are sleeping back to back without holding each other, but, since everything in this world has a price, and everything is available to be purchased or sold, I think there is a way of separating them.

Composition – Margarette Asatryan

Art itself is an imaginary commodity giving us extreme doubts about its initial value in comparison with its emotional value and offerings that come with it.  Art is an irreplaceable friend.  It does not gossip about you, doesn’t betray you or stab you on the back nor leaves you with the delusion of love going to bed with someone else.  All we have to do is find pieces that complete us and fulfills our missing dreams of being happy.  Sometimes it tells the truth. Sometimes it comforts us with lies in all its forms of metamorphosis.  Art is a remedy that helps us to move on in life and we part on the journey by decorating our life with it.

Composition #2, Margarette Asatryan

When it comes to our natural understanding and choosing art ability, sometimes I think that each individual has his or her own emotional capacity to observe, digest and possess art.  It has something to do with our understanding of beauty, harmony, complexity of human emotions, ability to read other universes, from that stand point, dealing with art is making me one of the most fortunate professionals that one can be.

Today’s topic is Creativity and inheritance aspects of it. I guess I wasted my reader’s patience in the paragraphs that I poured out, but I am out there to land into the core of my subject.  Yes, I think there is a strong and undeniable proof or evidence that creativity is inherited. It comes to us from different outlets. Sometimes we recognize it late in life. Sometimes we hate to waste it as it can be result from every day dealings and memories related to people who gave us the bug of creativity as most genetic diseases. Maybe, sooner or later it is going to come back and hunt us.  So, the ones that are clever make a good usage of it or shift to the direction so that they won’t be the shadow of their creative parent.

Red Forms – Margarette Asatryan


There is this undeniable arrogance in every one of us that makes us think that we are unique, nothing borrowed, stolen or copied. Everything we are and do is ours and ours alone.

Lately I granted a visit to one of my dearest old friend who is an artist, recognized in artistic circles of my home land and about.  He is a quiet man, very instinctive, deeply observant and he never tries to impress you. Well, that pleases me and makes me want to strive to know him more.  His name is Ashot Asatrian. He is getting closer to his mid-60s. he has his own creative pallet, his own style, everything he makes can be recognized as it carries carefully polished, yet carefully expressed writing of his.  Colors are crying to his canvases, models are melting, breeze from seem open windows or dirty ateliers kissing models’ shoulders. He captures the poetic sense of femininity, carefully editing it from vulgarity, provocative and unnecessary exposures. Anyone of us can be one of those ladies. Nothing to be shy or embarrassed about and the amazing part of it is that they are all naked.

Woman Sitting – Margarette Asatryan

This time, the reason or his gentle invite to his atelier was a surprised for me. He emptied the place from its own work and as every caring father would, he gave the atelier to his daughter to start the journey of art.  There were a few artworks from his collection left which he was quickly to mention needed to be removed and added for now they have to be turned backwards so that you will see the girl as a queen of her own space. It will take time I said.  Smells, shadows, and intentions of your creative shadows will hunt her trying to convince her that she is your shadow and I have to tell you partially, till now, she is, and that is amazing.

Silence – Margarette Asatryan

In regards to her work, I see a different composition, more oleo to tell expressions, very gentle set of colors.  You can feel the feminism present of his color. You can see that while building her own universe she is trying to set free her universe from the images of your that she carries unknowingly and every single piece that follows the other chronologically carries her undeniable efforts to free herself from the umbilical court of the inheritance that is in her with different smells, softer colors, easily released liquidity of light and forcefully kept patches shadows.

I was very happy that my friend Ashot Asatrian did not contradict from the reality and admitted the presence of his creativity embodied in his younger and softer form.  He and I spoke all night discerning possibilities to find different ways to faster the process for the bird to leave the nest and fly her own universe.

Self Portrait – Margarette Asatryan

We parted early hours in the morning admittingly that we carry the inheritance and craziness, blessings and gifts. All we have to do is recognize them, soften them, blend them and shape our own journey in the complex world of creativity.

Tamara Hovhannisyan, PhD

The Art of Xylography – WoodCutting

The technique of Woodcutting arose from the aim of ​​reproducing an artistic work to make it more accessible to a broader audience. Xylography or woodcutting is one of the most primitive relief printing techniques in the art of printmaking and resembles the use of stamp seal.

In the remote antiquity of Babylon, Egypt, and China we find the origins of this printing technique. Only in the 15th century, this form of reproduction arrived in Germany in the form of playing cards, in the size of a postage stamp, making Xylography one of the most widely used printing techniques of all time.

Shortly after, we find great masters of this engraving art such as Albrecht Altdorfer and Albrecht Dürer.


Both, extraordinary artists of skillful technique, create situations with figures, landscapes, scenes that transfer to the wooden cue with different instruments that produce the necessary holes to leave the surface in relief only the transposed drawing.

At the time they printed up to about 500 black color copies, typical of graphic art.

In a similar way, Gutenberg, will reproduce for the first-time biblical texts generating a cultural revolution. It is the birth of the book as an object, which will have enlightening objectives from generation to generation until today. Since then, the book and the art of the Xylography will accompany each other, one as a text and the other as an illustration.

In the 19th century, Japanese artists of great hierarchy such as Hokusai or Hiroshige gave the xylography a new impulse, indirectly influencing most of the French impressionist artists. A direct consequence of this rebirth of this art will be the great influence it had on the German Expressionist masters of the beginning of the 20th century, such as Erik Heckel, Ludwig, Kirchner, Carl Schmitt-Rottluff and others. Later the great artists of the school of Paris like Matisse or Picasso accompanied great books with their magnificent xylographic creations.

Woodcut Technique

The technique of woodcut, briefly told, is based on creating an effect of relief on a block of wood, previously polished so that, after inking, the color is transferred to a sheet of paper.

Like any graphic technique, the transfer occurs by inverting the original drawing. If the artist wishes to add a second color, he must repeat the process of drawing and transferring the new form to the block of wood, creating a new relief, another inking and new printing with a different color on the same previously printed paper. And so on as many times as colors want to be used.

1 Color Woodcut in Progress

In the traditional technique the printing is manual, hindering the production of many prints.

Key to The Horizon Series

Woodcutting favors the deployment of structures and variations giving each piece of the series the character of an original. After printing, the paper will have a slight relief effect as a result of the pressure being printed and the back of the sheet will show a shine due to the friction of the instrument. That distinguishes and differentiates this technique.

Multicolor Woodcutting in Progress

My last work in Xylography is called Key to the Horizon. This series consists of 60 original pieces with six serialized colors from 1-60.

The Key to The Horizon – Cristian Korn

Key to the Horizon was inspired as an accompaniment, similar to Picasso, to my new book titled Paintings. The Book has in its first pages an area to write down the number of the series accompanying the book. I hope Key to the Horizon will be more doors of the hearts of art lovers. I hope the work is to your liking.

Cristian Korn


*Altdorfer-Christ-angels-trumpets-1513 –

Times of Innocense – Prof. Hakob Soukiasian

It is one of our aims to constantly surprise you with global art treasures you may never have seen before. This is more easily done due to our 21 years in the art world.  This length of time in business has its advantages and disadvantages; we are fortunate to be more on the lucky side.  I guess you never stop learning or teaching, especially when you love what you do. I am a hopelessly obsessive collector.  I am in love, personally and professionally with the artists I represent.  I carry with me beautiful moments of interactions with them and with my readers, especially with those who share with us their love and appreciation for art but have never become active collectors. I have learned that art appreciation is a sign of finesse in one’s personality and we are fortunate enough to be surrounded with such a precious circle of human love. Art is the catalyst of it all.

Village Chapar – Hakob Soukiasian

Art is an excellent teacher of tolerance and love.  It brings the world to you with all its colors, smells, customs, and voices.  All you have to do is to have a willingness to relate to it all.  Since the world is now my source of professional inspiration, where there is no room for discrimination, let’s go to one of the oldest pockets of the world, Armenia. In fact, the timing is perfect, since the little country has recently been in the center of global attention finding ways to achieve a peaceful transition of power using love and respect in place of weapons.

From the world of expressionism, the next stop in our journey will be simplicity and idealism.  This was a period when life and relationships were simpler, and the world was like a warm enfolding blanket. Welcome to the world of Hakob Soukiasian.

Fresh Flat Bread – Hakob Soukiasian

Hakob Soukiasian is a native son of Armenia, a St. Petersburg prestigious academy graduate, and a professor, whom we lost recently.  His works have joined those of other creative sons and daughters of the small nation of Armenia in surprising major auction houses by registering high prices for their art sales.  Our current exhibition of his works at our Gallery is our farewell and homage to his legacy.

Hakob Soukiasian belongs to the generation that created heaviness in the elements of style-regime: poverty, simplicity, innocence, and abandonment as the result of being forgotten victims of cultural repression; those who somehow, with the grace of God, survived and ended up reconnecting themselves with themselves through the power of art.

Concept on The Pick – Hakob Soukiasian

If history and culture are the backbone of national identity, then the collected creativity of the nation is tomorrow’s certificate for eternity.  Soukiasian is a perfect example of the back and forth transfusion of love and creative energy between the motherland and its creative son.  In order to be able to connect emotionally and spiritually to his art one has to feel Armenian, see the colors of the land with closed eyes, have a memory of aromas of semi-nurtured part wheat, part cultured fields.

Soukiasian is considered one of the classics of the period. He was a quiet man, wrapped in his dreams, never sought recognition, never showed off in public festivities, as if he did not exist; yet, he knew that his existence would continue through his art, a form of cultural transcendence. One of his most famous students, Gevorg Yeghiazaryan described Soukiasian with a few simple words: “quiet, wise, and innocent, like a child.”

Village Aren – Hakob Soukiasian

The innocence and simplicity of Hakob Soukiasian’s fragments of forgotten times are creative flashbacks to his childhood.  Simple houses made out of stone, crafted and decorated from their immediate surroundings.  The houses, hills and landscapes depicted in his paintings are bare and simple, existing mostly to showcase human virtues.

Where there is not much of monetary value, the treasures of life come from romanticized moments: a rooster singing, two men fighting over the love of a woman, a young girl bringing water to her grandfather.  Moreover, robust and unfinished figures remind us of the roughness of life of that era.

The Tree – Hakob Soukiasian

Even though, throughout his lifetime, Soukiasian traveled to other countries and in other social circles, he forever remained committed to highlighting the building blocks of forgotten values and times of his beloved Armenia. His paintings are small in size, but the space they depict is large, encompassing hills, villages, and their inhabitants.  They are minimalistic blueprints of the symphony of existence of a nation that was hunted by the cruel developments of history but never lost the ability to dream, love, and create.

Soukiasian’s monumental works are also panoramas of life itself, combining nature and people, showing them in spiritual and physical unity, bringing everything together in an enormous harmonious acceptance in one canvas.  Soukiasian portraits: connections between people, early signs of blossoming love, unknowing attraction between love and shines of unity carrying unmistakable strokes of national character.

Mountain Spring – Hakob Soukiasian

Armenia is a land of ancient fairytales, biblical symbols, and mythical characters that look like the rocks.  Soukiasian’s ability to integrate the forgotten stories and national tales in one canvas, with all its compositional complexity and environmental colors, is a sign of the power of his undeniable command of brush and fundamental knowledge of regional history.  His characters are approachable, somewhat naive, minding their own business, not seeking attention. They carry the colors of the environment. There is a warmth in Soukiasian’s palette as if you could warm your face under the warmth of a late autumn sun, or wash your hands in flooding mountain springs.  His portraits and self-portraits carry the wisdom, modesty and hidden genius of the people of Armenia, as if the characters are looking at you through the windows of history, showing strength of character, kindness of heart and power of creating hands.

Soukiasian treasured everything that the land of Armenia offered, including the creative geniuses of the nation. No wonder his portraits of national icons, poets, musicians, depict in their background the country of Armenia, its dancing hills, occasional trees, abandoned castles, and semi-destroyed churches.  Soukiasian’s work carries the unmistakable palette of the country, the modesty of its people, and the simplicity of their life pleasures.

Spring is Here – Hakob Soukiasian

I was fortunate to have met him and shared a few precious memories with him.   It was then that I understood that I was going to be one of the voices of his creativity, that I wanted to use my words as a creative bridge to show that my art-loving roots are seeded in that land as well. I want to show that he and I have a common love for the land of Armenia and its creative miracles.

Hence, it is a moral obligation for me today, after so many years, to raise that voice and surprise the art-loving community with the beautiful innocence of forgotten times powerfully captured, simple on the surface yet complex compositionally, that show Soukasian’s love for Armenia.  A Country which is getting smaller and smaller every day demands great love from all sons and daughters of a historical nation.  In his art, Soukiasian paid back to the ailing land his dues of love and worship.

Eastern – Hakob Soukiasian

In Soukiasian’s Armenia, mountains are like people; they guard the history and longevity of an heroic nation. They safeguard the way young and old worship the sunrise, start a working day, peacefully welcome the end of a tiring day, relating to each other with the exchange of love, sharing the sparse offerings of the land showing the beauty of the nation, dreamy eyes, hidden shyness, high cheekbones, beautiful suntan skin, oversized working hands.


Mural – Hakob Soukiasian

Soukiasian’s works capture real life and give you a view through a window that leads you to that forgotten world; free, welcoming, simple, as if travelling through roads that lead you to the beginning of time, where you can find the reminders of heroic past, the shortcomings of an insecure present, and the anxiety of an uncertain future.

People rest, the smooth roads are their beds. Their midday lunch will be delivered to them from local villages. They will stay and guard their modest belongings: a few heads of cattle or a piece of land. Turns will be taken by families in the village baking Lavash (symbolic bread that Armenians can’t live without) to be shared among themselves.

Simple musical instruments made from the branches of apricot trees are soul-touching tools of communication borrowed from heaven.  The unusual sounds of those instruments that every village kid knows how to use, carry the voices of the past, the uncertainty of the present and the anxieties of the future, giving a sweet melancholy to their sound. One can dream under the melody, one can cry.

Throughout history, Armenians have learned how to coincide their laughter with their tears.  Soukiasian’s works symbolize, document and immortalize the spirit of a nation that is very strong yet fragile, very moral yet confused.  It has always carried the shadows of fear for its future.  It is a nation that has experienced enormous territorial losses, genocide, earthquakes, massive migrations yet is still able to use today’s pain to create hope for tomorrow.

We invite you to learn, enjoy, and love Soukiasian’s art works.  They will connect you with the historical, biblical nation of Armenia, the first nation that adopted Christianity; the first nation that spread its wings from sea to sea and then lost it without losing its kindness.  Yet, with its newly regained independence, it now has the destiny of a newborn.  There was a time of power, then, a time of repression and losses. But none of them were times of hopelessness, and the key of the rejuvenation of the national spirit was the creative power of the nation.

Some write their national history with wars and conquests. Soukiasian chose to exist and create.

Please enjoy the captive dreams of innocent times, purify your emotions in the remembrance of your childhood, reconnect your memory line to a possible instance in the memory of your own innocence. Be a child again by relating, enjoying and finding a refuge in the immortalized world of Hakob Soukiasian.

Tamara Hovhannisyan, PhD

Jackson Pollock and The Cosmic Space

When the young Wyoming-born painter, Jackson, came from California to New York in 1930, wearing his leather jacket and cowboy boots, he had already promised himself to become a bright star in the difficult sky of contemporary art. Those were the years in which his admired Picasso was imposing in New York, with a style despised by some and imitated by others.

Years later, David Siqueiros explained his methods of mural painting to his disciples with new techniques for new ideas and the young Pollock listened to that – and with equal attention – to the mythological aspects of the old native culture of the continent that the Mexican master let hear.

*Jackson Pollock – Photo by Hans Namuth –

By then, Jack’s friend, Lenore, was attending Hans Hofmann’s painting classes – one of the great masters of abstract art first at Berkeley and then in New York – who would open the eyes of several generations of interested American artists. At her insistence the young man will visit some of Hofmann’s classes, but the impulsive ideas of the volcanic artist and the German teacher remained hopelessly irreconcilable.

guardians-of-the-secret –

In those years America was also enriched with artists coming from an Europe at war: Chagall, Dalí, Léger, Mondrian, Breton, Matta, Zadkine, Onzenfant, Miró, were some of the many names that would leave a mark on the American present.

Accompanied by the surrealist Max Ernst, Marguerite “Peggy” Guggenheim would also return to New York to open the gallery “Art of this Century”. Pollock signed an exclusive contract with her and exhibited annually between 1942 and 1947. When Peggy moved to Venice, Betty Parsons continued her effective work as a gallery owner with equal success.

America was at that time in search of a generation of artists who would give it the desired cultural identity that would distance itself from the inheritance received. The propitious moment of the victorious postwar period places America in a new historical epoch. In a psychoanalytic sense came the crucial moment of “killing” its parents to “be itself” and doing tabula rasa with European artistic tradition which propels abstract expressionism as a typical modern American language and Jackson Pollock as the leader of the generation.

Life Magazine shows him in 1950 with a rhetoric question: Is he the greatest living artist in the United States? Hans Namuth’s photo and also the film of that year are still part of the legendary artistic documents of the twentieth century.

So, what is new?

He is the author of a new pictorial language.

Eyes-in-The-Heat –

On the one hand we observe that Pollock will extend the traditional pallet to a floor full of cans with flowing matter, the brushes will be changed by short wooden slats handled with agile dexterity and the easel will become a great horizontal dimension (new habitat of the artist) where he will leave the strokes of color according to his body movement: a universe full of rhythms, without figurative description or immediate meditations.

Everything is, nothing seems. Matter will become energy and turn into space. Painting is action.

Convergence –

The solution of the painting becomes visible as a product of the spontaneous gesture such as a surrealist text according to the “écriture automatique” method. For his splash art they will call him: “Jack the dripper”.

While painting there in a dance-like action on the canvas and, as spots appear on the canvas like stars in the Milky Way (which he himself will have seen well in the serene nights of East Hampton), he becomes the unique inhabitant of the cosmic space created, at least during the act of creating it.

In order to recreate the genesis of his paintings we must come to memory the ancestral rites of the American Indians (which the artist admired).

Going-West –

A critic of the time claims that these works have no beginning or end, Pollock feels flattered: that is precisely his vision of a pictorial space (almost) without limits.

Unfortunately, the search for other limits and frequent depressions led him to drink too much and prevented him from working steadily, sadly pushing him to a premature death.

Lenore was able to separate herself from Jack’s personal style and became a solid American avant-garde artist of international weight: Lee Krasner.

By the way: Jack could never come to know that that one day the MoMA decided to hang a large picture of him replacing one of almost the same size of his admired Picasso.

Cristian Korn



Francis Bacon

In a previous issue we talked about the importance of creating a personal pictorial language. I believe that there is one of the keys to what we call artistic creation.

Just as the art of oratory implies knowledge of the rules of dialectics and rhetoric, clarity of ideas, structure of discourse, or the use of gesture (or silence) at the given moment, the use of the language of art goes beyond a trivial search for what is fleetingly modern or to extend itself in demonstrations of convincing techniques.

It is a question of combining in the artistic work, the personality, the acquired experiences, and the intuition with greater conviction and coherence. Beyond its power of conviction and the talent of the artist, the result will undoubtedly be an original character.

Towards the end of the 1920s Europe tried to forget the tragic memories of the great war with drink and the rhythm of Charleston.

A young Irishman named Francis Bacon, raised under the authoritarian dictation of a father without love, departed from his home to discover and admire the pursuits of avant-garde French art that demolished traditional schools.

The crazy years implied new ideas that the Cubists and the surrealists knew to condense giving new directions to the artistic searches of the moment.

Bacon, who had no academic training found in these sources the guiding compass of his hesitant pictorial beginnings.

From their first paintings in low key, and almost monochrome, are seen figures whose faces, more or less grotesque, see mouths in need of air, they let out inaudible shouts in hermetic boxes, bodies in situations of clear physical discomfort. Although his self-portraits arrive late in his painting, it is obvious that Bacon uses his paintings to reflect his spiritual fatigue, his inner torture, his need for rebellion, his chronic asthma.

Bacon starts from a chaos (internal) to the search for an (external) order.

The dominant element in the created space is the figure (organic element) in a context that tends to the geometric order (tectonic element).

The human figure appears in his paintings with animal characteristics, his animal figures in turn appear sensibly humanized. Both are irritated, unstable, distressed, isolated, tense. The box / cage space is related to both focusing the composition and giving the situation an almost narcissistic exhibitionism.

Bacon is often inspired by works or photographs from the past to make his present. Rembrandt, Velazquez, Tiziano, Muybridge, Eisenstein, Soutine, Giacometti, Picasso do not fail to suggest ideas and admiration. They are the starting point sometimes of series of paintings for years, nevertheless we look almost in vain for their influence. It does not matter that there are other names at the origin. Little is left, everything has changed.

Over the years Bacon’s pictorial language is debugged and clarified, color selection is enlarged and saturated. His work is fighting and his personality is enough to create an imprint that has left imitators for decades.

Although the aggressiveness of the treatment of the figure, the virulence of the stroke and also the construction of the space created appear to be separate from reality, Bacon uses painting as a faithful mirror of biographical aspects that only with art are visible without scandal or tampering making his to be a whole.

*Study for a Self-portrait—Triptych, 1985–86 -,_1985%E2%80%9386.jpg


Art & Politics

Art & Politics

By Tamara Hovhannisyan, PhD.

I am not the first one to confirm that art has a closeness with history and politics. Art is a mirror reflection of our time that eventually is archived in history books, museums, and libraries.  We know the grandeur of past cultures and civilizations by the legacy of their art produced and left behind, as invisible marks of time and inconspicuous story tellers.

Art is the Silk Road to philosophy.  It leads to truth and wisdom via beautiful expressions and representations captured on canvas.  Immigration is one of those truths frequently documented in art.  It is not uncommon that under unbearable political and social situations artists will migrate from their motherlands to find a solution to their existential condition that will permit them to freely create.  Such has been the journey of many Immigrants who migrated in search of “The Land of the Free”.  They were soldiers of fortune.

Child – Claude Idlas

Allow me for a second to take you back to the foundations of our beloved country and ask, could a flock of disappointed immigrants build a country of such great importance 250 years ago?

These pioneers were the heroes; the servants of art.  They were rejected historians, believers, dreamers in their land, and this new American land offered them the refuge to their dreams.  In all cultures there is a saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and these people were always neglected and politically misunderstood.

Memories – Gegham Aleksanyan

Some of them were labeled as emotionally unstable, politically unreliable, leftovers from the other side of the globe; searching for new beginnings in the land of the great.  250 years later, America is still great because it is still open to give people the possibility to dream. We are surrounded by THE HOPE of different destinies with daily struggles to survive.

Promenade – Vahagn Avetisyan

Until now, the enormous flow of good and bad immigrants are crowds of dream chasers, some, without doubt will bring enormous abilities to lift up somewhat young cultural heritage of this great land of ours.

It is said that it takes a ton of processed material to get one gram of gold.  It is not difficult to spot the people with fragile hearts and broken destinies, yet complete with a solid ability to create.

Elimination and ignorance towards beginning problems of talented immigrants creates a sense of darkness and lose of direction in their hearts, and creativity as their gift will turn to be an eternal curse.  These artists are painting history with their lives.  Are we going to disconnect ourselves from their destinies?

The fact that these new immigrants might or might not speak a common language should not be a reason to devalue their knowledge, understanding, and values they bring within. We must understand that all cultural differences can rest and easily merge into one common tongue, captured in canvas for the valuation of us all.  These cultural differences give birth to the many branches within the journey of art collecting.

Harvest – Claude Idlas

Are we going to abandon our talented immigrant in their time of need?  Are we going to ignore their valuable offerings and contributions to our country, our world?  I think that nowadays, professionals in the art business, museums, art galleries, all need to have a greater participation and greater representation of people that come to this land to replant the landless trees each with their own creativity, recognizing each, and setting aside their language barrier, color, and religion they follow.  Remember, art is the only ambassador which will never be a subject of calling back.  We, at Collectors Galleries, honor and admire those that paint history with their lives.

The Art of Technology

*Light – Art and Technology

by Tania Scroggie

Technology is the queen of art of our life. It has totally changed our existential routine; it is in fact the genius of our century.   Technology is a blend of every form of art and science; and the possibilities for growth and creativity are endless.

Having a background in Computer Hardware Engineering combined with my uncontrollable passion for arts, has made me a restless traveler between the two.  Now, I am very happy that I can see a block connection between them that really completes me, and hopefully will be closer to you aesthetically and intellectually as well.  My name is Tania Scroggie.  I will be religiously sharing fountain of thoughts that I may have about the artistic nature of technology, and in doing it so, I am open to additions, comments and criticism to find an explanation of why technology and art are inseparable lovers.

Experimenting with Light

First, it is important to understand that art can be divided into two branches: fine art and, mechanical functional art.  Technology is of the latter, and it is the creative process giving birth to it, which earns it its place among the arts.

One can say that, the observant artist falls in love with Nature, whom becomes his or her Muse, a fountain of inspiration.  The consummated love between the Muse and the Artist or Scientist, challenges existing concepts of natural law, producing many children in the form of technological applications.  One excellent sample of this love relationship is the Scientist and Light.

Cloud in the Sunglight, originally posted to Flickr, was reviewed on 24 September 2007 by the administrator or reviewer Koernerbroetchen, who confirmed that it was available on Flickr under the stated license on that date.

How did we fall in love with Light? Was it its contrasting overpowering presence during the day vs. its shy, limited and seductive company at night? Or, was it our desire to reach out, touch and hold the stars at night whose twinkling beauty is flashed to us from far above the celestial vault? Or, was it our awareness of our soulful reflection in the eyes of our love ones under a light?

In ancient Greece, there was a belief that light actually radiated out from within the eye of the viewer explaining why we can only see with our eyes open. It was Empedocles, 500 years BC, who saw that, there was an interaction between the source of light and the eye itself, establishing the idea that light travels at a very finite but high speed*.  55 years BC, Lucretius, Roman poet and philosopher observed that light was composed of minute atoms which, once energized, traveled across space.  The years and centuries have passed and each new romantic lover of light, such as: Rene Descartes, Issac Newton, Robert Hook, Albert Einstein, etc. have discovered more and learned more about her properties and beauty.

But, returning to light as a more specific form of mechanical functional art, we have solar panels.  They use materials like Selenium that, when exposed to the sun, generate electricity, turning those solar panels into power sources during the day, and inspirational beauty at night.Briefly, Light travels as a wave, but interacts as a particle.  It can be bent or refracted, and even bounced around or reflected, and can be dispersed into multiple colors such as the case of light going through prisms.  Light can be directed and its intensity varied for various applications such as the case with Laser beams that can be used for eye surgery as well as military weaponry.

Verdant Walk – Photographer Pete North. Permission to Publish image granted by Eventscape Inc.

 The Verdant Walk with its 7 wire sculptures wrapped in fabric is an example of such technological artistic application beautifying the city of Cleveland, OH.  It was designed by the Toronto-based North Design Office and built by Eventscape, a custom architectural firm.  The project was a 3 year installation, to collect energy from the sun during daylight, and light up a beautiful city at night.

Every new lover of Light will, as time passes, stand on new and old knowledge of it to create new forms and applications; thus, implementing Light into more and more gracious forms to service and display its beauty.

Beam by beam, ray by ray, and particle by particle, the never ending love relationship between Artist and its Light will continue inspiring the poet, the scientist and artist to create.



*Reference: Wikiepedia “Light”

Philosophy Lover’s Corner

By Tania Scroggie

Tania Scroggie

The art of living and The Art of Collecting are two fundamental branches of the existential journey of mankind.

Why is it that we always want to surround ourselves with beauty?  Why are we so hopelessly in love in wonder of the beauty of our thinking in relation of analyzing the flow of nature and societies of which we are part of?

These questions become the foundations of philosophy and have guided us through the millenniums.Since our aim is to really find the blood relationship between The Art of Collecting and philosophy, we plan to always have something interesting in our philosophy corner that will bridge our past and present searches for wisdom and its outcome in the form of beauty.

A marble head of Socrates – by Eric Gaba – Wikimedia Commons user: Sting

Since everything somewhat started in old Greece, I think we will give Greece a first shot.

Around 500 BC in Athens, there was a man of great wisdom.  His name is Socrates, whose teachings, thanks to Plato, were recorded and have survived the passage of time.

 Not that the term did not exist before, nor that other cultures had not searched for wisdom either, but, it was Socrates who coined the word philosopher, as “the lover of wisdom” and philosophy as the “love of wisdom.”

Socrates stated that we all have a perception of what is good.  Therefore we are attracted to and chase after what represents our highest standard of good, or beautiful.  There are times when what exists is not enough and we must bypass existence as we know it and create a new.

The history of humanity can be observed in the various legacies of “good” and “beautiful” which have been left in the form of paintings, music, literature, theoretical science, applied technology, and many other art forms and human achievements of the various civilizations.

The School of Athens by Raphael (1509–1510), fresco at the Apostolic Palace, Vatican City

Endless schools of philosophy and art have seen their days and nights in their pursuit to study, understand, question and create what is beautiful.

It is this perpetual perception of what is good or beautiful, that leads us into a search for higher understanding of truth, and truth becomes wisdom.

The love of wisdom does not belong to a specific age, civilization, gender or social class.  It belongs to the one who dares to love and pursue that which he/she perceives as the highest form of beauty.  Now the question is, will your love take you to the highest form of Wisdom?

Art News

Dear Friends and Collectors, the Team of Collectors & Le Vernissage Galleries is proud to share with you the following news published by the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia on their website

*“Armenian American poet Tamara Hovhannisyan presented her book “I Am a Woman, An Island”

Tamara Hovhannisyan – Poetry Reading

On November 4, Armenian American poet Tamara Hovhannisyan presented her book “I Am a Woman, An Island” with the support of the RA Ministry of Diaspora. This book is the Russian version of poems selected from the poet’s two previous collections. Among those attending the presentation were RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan, RA Deputy Minister of Diaspora Serzh Srapionyan, composer Robert Amirkhanyan, literary critic David Gasparyan, writer and publicist Yervant Azadian and others.

RA Deputy Minister of Diaspora Serzh Srapionyan transmitted the welcome speech of RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan in which he mentioned the following:

“I cordially congratulate Armenian American poet Tamara Hovhannisyan on the release of the Russian version of her book of poems.”

Recently the RA Ministry of Diaspora hosted the presentation of the poet’s books “Symphony of Existence” and “The Woman”, and today we are present at the presentation of the Russian version of poems selected from those books. This book, which was translated by Albert Nalbandyan and includes a preface by famous Russian poet, translator and literary critic Mikhail Sinelnikov serves as the best opportunity to present the wonderful poems of the poet to Russian readers.”

The deputy minister added that in her works the poet reveals the inner world of a woman, the enigmatic, exquisite and very mysterious essence where the image of a real Armenian woman and the “symphony of existence” of an Armenian woman unquestionably come first.

Doctor of Philological sciences and Professor David Gasparyan gave a speech in which he presented the poet’s career and mentioned the following:

“Tamara Hovhannisyan has been gradually establishing her presence among Armenian intellectuals over the past couple of years.

Her poems deserve high appraisal. By presenting such an exquisite world of arts, Tamara Hovhannisyan has established her own system of values in poetry. Her works are self-revelations in the form of mono dramas where there is tranquility and the peace of a modern and civilized woman.”

Composer Robert Amirkhanyan also expressed his opinion on and shared his impressions of the book.  Sergush Babayan recited a poem during the event.

Expressing gratitude to the RA Ministry of Diaspora and to the minister personally for the ongoing support and for providing her with the opportunity to present herself to Armenian readers, Tamara Hovhannisyan mentioned the following: “This book is another tiding to Armenian cultural life. In this book, I tried to build bridges of love and intimacy with all my soul and with dedication for my demanding readers, including my compatriots who prefer to read my poems in Russian.”

In 2015, Tamara Hovhannisyan was awarded with the “Ambassador of the Mother Language” Medal of the RA Ministry of Diaspora.”*