Arshak Sarkissian

Arshak Sarkissian was born in 1981, Gyumri, Armenia, in the family of artist Ararat Sarkissian. After the 1988 Armenian earthquake, he moved to Yerevan. In 1998, he graduated from National Aesthetic Center of Art, Yerevan, Armenia, 2001–2002 Postgraduary Cyprus College of Art, Paphos, Cyprus.

Arshak Sarkissian’s art is all about 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 the arts and literature – are just as factual, his world is informed by the Magic Realism of South America as well as Asiatic Shamanistic traditions. Sarkissian illustrates the supernatural aspects of every day life in his art. He is constantly exploring the human personality with its multi-dimensional, multi-layered facets. His drawings 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. Arshak Sarkissian’s drawings are figurative as well as contemporary, and are greatly influenced by Renaissance art – the meticulous approach to drawing and the synthesis of both realistic and mystical elements being germane to his art. His characters have an eccentric temperament and an exotic disposition – as this is a vital component in the making of “personality” – and his animal hybrids always divulge 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, but his drawings place these creatures in a post-modern, contemporary world where they still grapple with their daemons.