Armenian artists who have chosen the direction of dark art are not large in their number in Armenia. What makes them choose that direction and what inspires them? Let’s find out!
Have you ever thought of all the different directions of art? To be more specific, have you ever thought of dark art? What is dark art? Why and how artists create it? Are there any artists of that direction in Armenia?
Turns out that yes, there are! One of the newest and brightest representatives of dark art in Armenia is Arax Sargsyan.
Today we sat down for an interview with this talented Armenian artist to chat about dark art in Armenia, her decision to become an artist, her inspirations, etc.
So, let’s “spread light” in this dark topic!
Armenian Artist Arax Sargsyan | The New Face of Armenian Dark Art
Arax Sargsyan is a young Armenian artist who has chosen pretty unusual path for her professional career.
She has dedicated herself to dark art and, as she claims, doesn’t regret it at all.
In general, dark art is not a widely recognized art movement in Armenia. You won’t easily find Armenian artists which are inclined to this style.
It’s difficult to pass through Arax’s artworks and stay indifferent towards them, as they will grasp you tight and make you travel with them to somewhere mysterious and extremely capturing.
During an interesting talk, Arax spoke about her life, artworks, her opinion about today’s Armenian painters and finally how she is inspired to create all this cool stuff!
Question to The Dark Armenian Artist #1 | How did you decide to choose this direction for your art?
It’s somewhat complicated, as there were lots of fostering factors for that. It all started from my childhood. Movies and books played a huge role in it too. Tim Burton’s movies influenced me a lot.
As a child, I enjoyed reading and my parents gave lots of books to read, which had also become an influence.
In 2000, I was already reading Harry Potter, whereas not many people had heard about it in Armenia back then.
In my childhood, I was also captured by old European fairy tales, which are quite creepy by the way. The old-school Princesses of the fairy tales seemed extremely boring to me. There was nothing special about them.
Instead, I was always captivated by the wicked characters. Villains have always been my subject of interest.
Their personality was not totally described, so there was something left for a reader to explore. That’s exactly what intrigued me the most and I was yearning to know more about them.
Question to The Dark Armenian Artist #2 | Do you have any special source of inspiration? Where does it all come from?
As I’ve mentioned, from the early childhood till today my main source of inspiration have been books and movies, however It’s not as simple as you may think.
Basically, everything can become an inspiration, even the most ordinary things if you watch it from the right angle.
Another inspiration of mine are the works of modern, ancient and classical artists. Or, let’s take it global: art itself.
Oh, and of course what else can be better inspiration than nature itself! Everything I paint, all those monsters or animals come from the nature of humankind.
Yeah, and there is another super important thing that inspires me the most. Those are my dreams!
Subconscious mind is the most hilarious thing. You never know what your subconscious has prepared for you for tonight.
Question to The Dark Armenian Artist #3 | What’s the reason of having just a few Armenian artists in dark? What’s the issue according to you?
I think the main reason may be the lack of dark literature and movies in Armenia.
If you compare it with other countries and cultures the difference is vivid.
Question to The Dark Armenian Artist #4 | How did you start your career as an artist?
It all began with my decision to attend National Center for Aesthetics. So, in 2005 I joined the group of Vahagn Baghdasaryan. This experience played a huge role in my future career.
Later, at the age of 14, I moved to the adult’s group under the supervision of Samvel Baghdasaryan.
Even when I was a child my paintings differed from the rest of the children of my age. I painted blood and monsters, etc. But the good thing is that I was never restricted by my teachers.
Their main aim was to teach me best techniques of art and painting and never set boundaries in styles. It was something of my own.
Question to The Dark Armenian Artist #5 | What are you mainly engaged in today?
The majority of my works are illustrations. By saying illustration, I don’t mean only movie characters, they can be just a plot of my imagination.
Very often I don’t like to comment on them, they have just huge value for me. Moreover, my illustrations themselves can tell you a lot without words.
They come from deep subconscious mind and perfectly reflect my inner world. It’s about a year when I started doing horror makeup as well. I’ve learned it all by myself and would like to improve and became more professional in this field. However, this demands some extra resources.
People mostly recognize me as a painter, as majority of my works are illustrations.
By the way one of my favorite works is a huge sculpture of a spider. It took much efforts and resources; but what’s more important, is that the final result was satisfying.
Photo by Herman Avakian
Question to The Dark Armenian Artist #6 | What about your new project of T-shirts with your illustrations?
It’s my newest project, and it was fulfilled in an unexpected and random way. However, the idea was there about 2 years ago.
I’ve always wanted to start something like that, but for some reason I was canceling it all the time.
One day one of my friends told that she is opening a Facebook page of the T-shits and I’m the one who should make them. What could I say? I said “OK” and the project was launched.
I’ve placed some of my illustrations from my 2015 exhibition. The project appeared to be successful, as it raised huge interest and I started getting lots of orders in just a couple of days.
Besides the existing illustrations, I’m also planning to create several illustrations specially for T-shirts.
You may recognize some of them as they’ll be famous characters of Armenian games or fairy tales.
You can order the hand-drawn illustration T-shirts not only from Armenia. We have an international shipping available! If anyone is interested in my T-shits they can contact me on Facebook or Insagram.
Question to The Dark Armenian Artist #7 | How is your dark art accepted in Armenia? What do you think about today’s Armenian painters in general?
I got both positive and negative feedback and both of them were fun! Some people were fascinated by my works and encouraged me to continue painting.
On the contrary, there were others that advised me to visit a doctor, as they didn’t get my art. Some of them even told that I’m possessed by devil, or that I’m troubled!
In a weird way, they sometimes somehow inspire me. Dark art is not something Armenians get unambiguously.
Some keep criticizing dark art and Armenian artists who dedicated themselves to dark art.
Concerning today’s Armenian painters, I cannot talk much about them. Simply because I don’t know many of them.
In general, I think one of the major problems of painters in Armenia is not accepting critics. They tend to stuck at some point and stop improving and discovering themselves newly. However, there are several promising and talented artists in Armenia. I’m sure, you’ll hear from them in the future.
I think Armenian artists should be a bit open for healthy critique and never stop improving themselves.
Question to The Dark Armenian Artist #8 | And finally, what are your plans on your future?
I have many destinations which I want to reach, sometimes they seem so many that I even get confused in them. However, by the time, step by step I’m planning to reach my goals.
One of the most highlighted desires is having a character arts studio (something like Stan Winston School) and creating iconic fantasy characters.
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