Arshak Sarkissian is widely regarded as the visual poet of Yerevan’s youth culture. Born in Gyumri, Armenia, Sarkissian achieved fame at a young age. The recipient of his country’s Presidential Gold Medal for Fine Arts, he was commissioned to redesign a section of the Zvartnots International Airport terminal. Since 1999 his works have been exhibited throughout the world. Most recently he completed a residency at New York’s Art Omi International.
“In historical paintings you may see very different levels of importance were given to the face of a king, for example, and to his dog. I am more of a documental artist. Beautiful and ugly are the same to me. Every image—man, woman, child, pair of shoes, gets the same attention.
My work is about the idea of someone, their personality, the atmosphere they create. It is not about what they are doing but what they make you feel. When you look at them, you don’t think about what their names are. You conceive the concept of two people holding hands.”