Vav Hakobyan
UTOPIA INSIDE OUT May 27 - July 11, 2021

Galeri 77 is hosting Vav Hakobyan's first solo exhibition in Istanbul titled "Utopia Inside Out” to be held within the gallery. Vav Hakobyan goes beyond traditional figurative art. He merges illustrative figuration with deconstructive abstraction, as in his paintings, all elements are equal. Instead of propaganda, manifesto and dogma, Hakobyan believes in the power of art, not as a tool for representation but as an instrument for creative imagination and envision. Indeed, Vav Hakobyan understands the importance of aesthetics very well. His paintings relate to the given fragmental being of reality by formally adapting to the permanent flux of society, in which everything always changes and transforms.

Vav Hakobyan’s current work is characterized by a spontaneous and impulsive use of color and figuration. He alters the classic notion of balanced composition, symmetry, light position, prospect, history, and balance of saturation to create alternative icons and unknown figures that do not have a past or a future in any existing reality. Through a dynamic and permanent change of forms, and a constant transformation of figures, the artist creates aesthetic diversities and extreme contrasts. Hakobyan exposes the art of painting as an endless quest, where instead of the work’s final look, the dynamism of making the painting itself is most relevant. Since then, he states that every new painting is a surprise for him, as he is not interested in result-oriented works but in the process of painting itself.

Observing Vav Hakobyan’s paintings, the unique structure of his figures and their role within his fragmental compositions immediately attract the attention of the spectator. In his paintings, often cartoon-like protagonists are surrounded by objects, and geometrical forms as well as painterly and graphic elements like doodles, traces of brush strokes and color fields. The depiction of human-like figures and distorted animals lacks any kind of naturalism, and instead shows a relationship to expressionism as well as to abstract figuration. Their forms vary from black and white pencil drawings to colorful and pasty portrayals. However, due to their fragmental design as well as due to their de-centered position within the composition, the protagonists never appear as consistent figures. Instead, body parts like hands, skulls or torsos resemble free-floating elements.

The aesthetic of the figures shows relations to children drawings, primitive art, cartoon art, naturalist illustration as well as painterly expressionism, deformation, and abstraction. Indeed, Vav Hakobyan rejects numerous forms of figuration from the long history of art. Nevertheless, references to artists like Tapies, Twombly and Basquiat seem appropriate, as Hakobyan also manages to merge expressionism with abstraction as well as drawing with painting. Like these masters of Postwar-Art, he comments on the craziness of today’s world. The artist’s first solo exhibition in Istanbul titled “Utopia Inside Out” can be visited by art enthusiasts until July 11th at Galeri 77’s space in Karakoy.


  • Hacımimi Mah. Necatibey Cad. Sakızcılar Sok. No: 1/E Karaköy Beyoğlu, İstanbul
  • Opening → May 27, 2021, 10.00-18.00
  • Visiting Hours → Sunday to Saturday, 10:00-18:00
  • Organizer Buğra Uzunçelebi

Prominent Works