The type of Armenian: Aramazd Petrosyan

The paintbrush ‘tells about’ its love on the canvas, the world is filled and become colorful, hugging the velvet of the cello. The unreal is real in this fairy tale. It is a fairy tale that Hayern Aysor’s interlocutor, painter Aramazd Petrosyan creates.

Hayern Aysor: Has your love for the fine arts always been conditioned by a favorable environment and the roots linked to any field of art, or was it just by chance?

Aramazd Petrosyan: The environment has definitely had a huge impact. I was born into a family of artists. My father is painter Mikael Petrosyan, and my mother is pianist Anahit Reish-Petrosyan. My grandmother, who is of German descent, is merited teacher Tatiana Reish, and she is also a pianist. It would be very hard not to create in such an environment. I grew up in the arts at home and in my father’s studio. There was a vivid ‘palette’ of many film directors, actors, writers, theater figures and artists, and this made me love the arts. I think all fields of the arts are interconnected and complement each other. So, I am in love with just painting, but the arts in general, with all of its manifestations.

Like every child, I have also loved to paint, but I wouldn’t view my first attempts at painting as an extraordinary phenomenon. In the fourth grade, I got accepted to the specialized painting school named after H. Kojoyan. After graduating from school, I continued my studies in the Faculty of Painting and Graphics at the State Academy of Arts, after which I took a six-month course at the Painting Academy in Saint Petersburg. Afterwards, I was recruited. My career mainly began after I was demobilized from the army. Since 2004, I have participated and still participate in exhibitions, symposiums, showings and cultural programs.

Hayern Aysor: The world view of Aramazd Petrosyan the artist has been formed through painters, directions in painting and schools. Whose style or artistic solutions are close to your heart?

Aramazd Petrosyan: When I was eight or nine years old, I was very impressed with the paintings of Memling, Bosch and Van Deik. To this day, I love the Flemish and Dutch schools of painting. I wouldn’t say I am influenced by them, but I can surely say that that love is maintained somewhere in my sub-conscience and is expressed in my paintings. I was also obsessed with the Italian masters of the Renaissance. The Italian and Spanish schools and the paintings of Velasquez, Goya and Rembrandt are close to my heart. What is also close to my heart is the interpretations of paintings in our days. Art critics describe the genre in which I paint as Modern Renaissance, which incorporates elements of Expressionism, Post-Impressionism and Symbolism, mixed with an allegory. Being familiar with all this and having all this inside of you, you try to synthesize those directions when ‘painting’ your inner world.

Hayern Aysor: Color, form, content…Which comes first and which is marked in your paintings? Describe yourself as a color, a synthesis of colors or a natural phenomenon.

Aramazd Petrosyan: For me, there is nothing that is primary or secondary in painting. Everything is a means that helps you produce a melody, a composition in the universal symphony that will touch the heart of a person and convey the message of the creator.

A painter has to be as close to nature as possible. This is the only way a painter can create art sincerely. As the nature in Armenia has bright colors and various climatic zones, I think transitions are characteristic of my temperament and my art. I can go from mild to rough, from tranquility to a storm. It is hard for me to identity myself with any color or describe myself as a combination of colors, but I would say the shades of warmer colors describe me.

Hayern Aysor: You have held personal exhibitions in Armenia and in different galleries around the world. You have participated in exhibitions in Russia, Finland, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, the USA and Lebanon and have won awards at state and international competitions, including the First Prize at the exhibition devoted to Picasso in Barcelona and First Prize at the Exhibition for Young Creators in Armenia. You are a member of the UNESCO International Association’s Professional Painters of the World and an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of England (as best portraitist), as well as diplomas and certificates of appreciation. How do you feel and what changes in your life after every new exhibition? How does the direct contacts with contemporary artists change?

Aramazd Petrosyan: Any exhibition in your country or abroad is first and foremost a report for yourself. It allows you to evaluate yourself, see your strengths and weaknesses and your advantages and understand what characterizes you more or makes you stand out from other creators. Exhibitions are like a long navigation. When you have certain experience in navigating, you can have a more real picture of your qualities and the extent to which you are unique and competitive. As is the case after every trip, you realize that you are not the same person you were a couple of months ago. After every exhibition, you have mixed emotions that give you something to think about and give you a new impulse to feel and create, and this is very important. There are times when I don’t want to paint after an exhibition, but this doesn’t mean that I don’t create. I simply need time to rediscover and reinterpret my past and my achievements in order to move forward.

Hayern Aysor: A woman serves as a source of inspiration in life and the arts. Your paintings portray the image of a Woman a lot. Who is the main female character or the standard of femininity and elegance in the arts?

Aramazd Petrosyan: You’re right, the Woman is presented a lot in my paintings. The Woman amazes me, charms me and inspires me with her essence and content. The phenomenon of motherhood, which is God-given, and the Woman-nature relationship is divine and inexplicable and inspires many artists. The main female character in my paintings is a collective image that is endowed with femininity, melody and is out of time and the perception of time. In world arts, the criterion of femininity for me is Greek sculptures that I can endlessly admire.

Hayern Aysor: In one of your interviews you have said the following: “In my paintings, I try to find the edge between what is real and what is not real”. What are the symbols and painting techniques that Aramazd Petrosyan often uses when transmitting that which is real and not real?

Aramazd Petrosyan: I work with oil colors and pastel. Interpreting colors and providing solutions in terms of colors to create a certain environment are closer to my heart. Color can be added to a drawing, and when combined, the painting becomes complete. Even though you are creating a tangible and visible painting in some sense (subjective result), you are trying to provide condensed solutions (mainly figurative) of emotions on a limited surface so that the painting will express the unreal world within you. It is quite difficult to be a realist painter because it seems as though everything has already been said, and it is difficult to find new and interesting solutions and interpretations. If a painting touches the viewer’s heart and pulls him or her towards it, then the solutions have been chosen correctly.

Hayern Aysor: End the following sentence: I would like to see the world…

Aramazd Petrosyan: I would like to see the world full of love.

P.S.: The real heroes are by our side and around us. They are virtuous, creative, ordinary and extraordinary people, including artists, whose color is nature and whose nature is the melody of love.

Interview by Aghavni Grigoryan

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