Representing talented artists working and creating in various parts of the world
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A life is always framed by a story, but existence continuously searches for another empty canvas.
1955. It starts with the streets, smells and sounds of Beirut, Lebanon. In beginnings, reactions are instinctive and purity is not compromised. Vahé Berberian, an Armenian painter, author, playwright, director and actor, is able to hold on to that instinct and purity through all his journeys, becoming the phenomena known as Vahé.
His parents’ home in Beirut served as a stage where personalities from the worlds of theater, literature and the arts interacted passionately. Conversation flowed and humor filtered intensity. This is where Vahe, the storyteller, was formed.
1973. Leaving the safety of the familial nest, exchanging the familiar with the unknown, Vahé becomes part of the counterculture and travels through Eastern and Western Europe. Upon returning home, he lives the onset of the Lebanese Civil War. 1976. Devastated, Vahé reluctantly relocates to Los Angeles. Four years later, he graduates with honors, receiving a degree in journalism, while fervently pursuing art.
“Painting is about creating history. I start with the empty canvas and nothing in mind. My first coat is my first mistake. My second coat is my second mistake. With every layer I erase the previous one, but nothing is completely eliminated. There are always traces. Eventually, the layers evolve into something from which I cannot take anything away.”
Different settings and realities chisel, break down, blend and mold an identity. This identity is innately about combinations. The urgency to combine is what predominately resonates in all his work. His stand up comedies recognize absurdity and embrace laughter. His plays unfold absurdity and validate coexistence. His novels magnify absurdity and blur the lines between reality and fantasy. His paintings are the absurd.
This process has lent itself to over 65 solo and group exhibitions, four one man shows, two published novels, and over a dozen plays written and directed by Vahe, worldwide.
About the Artist: Born in Paris and raised in Tehran and Boston, I am a mobile photographer now based in Los Angeles, capturing moments since 2009. I have had no professional training however my vision has been the driving force behind my creations! For the time being, photography is a hobby! I have had shows at various galleries and events and have won numerous challenges and competitions.
My photographs are not generally planned in advance, and I do not anticipate that the onlooker will share my viewpoint. However, I feel that if my photograph leaves an image on the viewer’s mind, something has been accomplished.
Ara Madzounian is a filmmaker and a documentary-street photographer. His themes focus on memory and displacement. As a teenager he was attracted to theater and photography. He took his first pictures with his brother's Agfa Silette camera. At the start of the Lebanese civil war, he moved to Los Angeles. He holds BA and MFA from the School of Theater, Film & Television at UCLA.
Ara's works range from shorts to features, both in fiction and documentary. The Pink Elephant, his first film, won the Panavision and Peter Stark awards and has been shown in various international film and television festivals. His cinematography experience includes several films. He has produced and directed the Armenia Fund telethons, global live television broadcasts. He has produced and directed projects in Armenia for Czech Television and for the Monterey Institute of International Studies as well as educational videos for the Los Angeles County Refugee Project and the Zoryan Institute for Oral History Project. He made his screen acting debut in a feature film, Radio Inside. He is one of the founding members of the Armenian Experimental Theater in Los Angeles.
For several years, Ara lectured on Armenian cinema at the ARS Summer Studies Program at Amherst and Bradford colleges. He has produced and directed more than twenty television commercials and corporate films.
Sossi Madzounian's photographic vision transcends from a traditional approach to the digital age, emphasizing on the sheer simplicity of the subject. Her style is about capturing the essence of what naturally exists. Her discerning eye focuses on the ordinary often unheeded subjects metamorphosing them into compelling forms and images. Her unblemished approach to life is her inspiration and guiding light.
Sossi was born in Beirut and has been living in Southern California since 1968. As a teenager, she discovered the camera as a channel to her creative expression. After studying at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, she immersed herself in commercial photography, working on a variety of projects and with many art directors. Her photos have appeared in numerous magazines and publications, including LA Style, Orange Coast, and AIM, among others. During the height of her career, she set aside her photography to pursue her primary passion: motherhood. Twenty years later, she returned to her roots and commits her talents and knack for capturing beauty through photography. Her work can currently be found in galleries, office spaces and production sets of TV shows such as Showtime's "Ray Donovan."
Ara Oshagan is a photographer and installation artist whose work revolves around the intersecting themes of identity, community and history. His first book, Father Land, was published in 2010. Two other books, Mirror and iwitness, will be published next year. Oshagan’s work has been reviewed and featured in Mother Jones, the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly and NPR, and can be found in the permanent collections of several museums. In October 2012, Oshagan spoke at TEDx in Yerevan, Armenia.
Professionally known and revered as “Vachag,” Vachik Ter Sarkissian was born in the historic and vibrant city of New Julfa, Iran in 1956 where he received his elementary and part of his secondary education in the Armenian schools of that city.
The frescos of the late medieval churches of New Julfa left significant and indelible imprint on Vachag’s paintings, which echo the atmosphere and colors of this colorful and prosperous city.
In 1971, along with his family, Vachag emigrated to Armenia, where from 1973 to 1979 he studied architecture at the Yerevan Polytechnic. While there, he specialized in the restoration of historical monuments. As a young architectural student, he visited various provinces of Armenia and studied historical sites and monuments. His discovery of medieval art in the geopolitical boundaries of Armenia served as yet another significant source of inspiration for his work.
After living 10 years in Armenia, Vachag moved to the United States in 1981, where he worked in architectural firms and continued his studies, this time with a focus on modern art.
The rich and iridescent colors of Vachag’s idiosyncratic work suggest a sense of immobility and timelessness. They bring to life a past that lives in his memory as well as in his imagination.
Following the tradition of medieval Armenian scribes who preserved the past by copying colophons (Hishatakaran, literally “memorial”), Vachag does so by painting. Vachag’s works are indeed memorials for which he wishes to be remembered by signing his paintings as medieval scribes did their colophons, which includes inscriptions such as “Remember, I implore, Vachag the painter” on his works of art.
Harry Vorperian is a painter and graphic designer, who for years has owned and managed an art gallery, design studios and has taught art to young and old students and enthusiasts alike. He recently founded the Shushi Art Project, which in October 2012 held its first event, a contemporary art festival, in Shushi, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic). This unique project brought together 20 artists with diverse backgrounds from the US, Europe, Armenia and Artsakh. Harry’s last solo exhibition “The I”, was held in November 2010.