Exposition Art Blog: Shota Voskanyan

Shota Voskanyan

Shota Voskanyan ( born June 26, 1960 in Yerevan), is an Armenian artist.
1982–1987 Shota Voskanyan studied at the Moscow University of Arts. Since 1995 Shota Voskanyan is a Member of the Union of Artists of Armenia
His works are exhibited in National Gallery of Armenia, Artsakh museums, in Arame Art Gallery, Yerevan.
He has exhibited his works in Russia, Stokholm, Jerusalem, Germany, France, and New York.

   "The  Land  of  Peace  and Silence
The works of many Armenian artists still contain the traces of the Renaissance style appreciation of art, observed at least in the structure of pictorial art. The sensitivity gap, the loss of emotion and apprehension sometimes increase cruelness and rationality in the human relation which is reflected inevitably on the canvases. Shota Voskanyan’s need to express himself is linked to his sensitive attitude towards cordiality in human relations. All that is fully depicted in his artworks created within the recent five years.
Shota is an artist creating his own world with its laws, habits, traditions and orders. It is a world where every single thing is familiar, though a bit budged and altered. The artist himself hasn’t grasped it yet, but every new artwork reveals the essence diversity of that world.For Shota, himself, that environment is an independent, encapsulated spiritual zone where the life runs in its own space, with its own limits, coordinates, fulcrums, routine, vanity and feasts. In his own artworks the artist, with his affection towards reality, reveals a world paralleled to the one we live in - a world full of problems, worries and mysteries. Though that world is burdened with its sequence of events passing in common rhythm, it is the world where the artist hides from the prose, where every single thing seems strange and is poetic for him. Like it seems strange, mysterious and curiously to a child, peering into the adults’ world and having a call to grasp the meaning of life beyond his reach. Then he grasps it in his own way. He does it easily and joyfully and because of his frankness tries to get out of its intricacy and dilemma teasing him with their promises. That’s why we can trace the images of children gazing at us from his canvases with their true interest and trust.

The author actually never motivates his artworks. He needs no imitation of life. The mystery of existence, revealed to no one ever, excites him though each human being seeks for it in his own way, for his own sake. Shota probes it almost blindfolded relying on bare feelings and he is not wrong as the breath of life is felt in every single episode depicted. Is the logic or common sense needed when the reality is a whirlpool of dark insanity indeed where the author tries to find some saving islets?
Here they are and there’s no need to ask for the meaning, yet to try to overcome the chaos through the power of our own humanity. That is why, together with the oddity of characters depicted by Shota and vagueness of their relations we attracted by their warm-heartedness and deep feelings of mutual sympathy solved merely by fine art tools.
In his artworks Shota merges impressions from his childhood with the experience of his adult life. Such an odd uni of past and present, real and imaginary exists in harmony, even when the combination of actions of characters seems like an absurd. It is all because of unexplored feeling or the memories doomed to oblivion slumbering in each episode. As a result, Shota creates an atmosphere filled up with thick and touchable air and light that cover and streamline the shapes, make them ductile, fill them up with a potential energy. Heavy and thick female bodies somewhat like being moulded turn into the tint brass. The artist sculpts people and objects touching with pleasure their true materiality, solidity, stressing their salience with a particular expressiveness of flexibility and color. His nudes are full of that life-asserting essence where the artist seems to reveal again the vivid brilliance of human body.

Indeed Shota creates some figures using color spots, uneven and rapid touches promising to turn into a delicate womanly oriental beauty.
Shota Voskanyan stresses the flexible essence he reaches through a particular lighting that makes all situations cosy enough, intimate and common. That is why together with all the oddity of incoherent events the auditory does not doubt its true reliability. The relations between the people living in those interiors are exciting and convincing, though here the real scales are often violated and the characters’ actions resist explanation.
Notwithstanding, all of them terrifically get on with each other in that cram and constricted space. It makes the audience think over separate images or groups of characters. A horse, sweethearts with a mandolin, a gymnast resting on a rope, a little man with an umbrella who selflessly beats a tattoo… What makes all of them come together? We peer at their odd garment leaving no doubt that all of them are buffoons and puppeteers wearing chequered or horned caps.

Furthermore the presence of the characters playing music in the compositions stresses the feeling of unity and harmony the artworks absorbed with. The characters depicted by Shota are actors, clowns, illusionists, musicians, puppeteers –the images that became very popular in pictorial art referring to the recent period. That established and ageless symbolism acquires completely different coloring. The artist depicts his heroes not acting on stage but backstage, where they have short breaks at pre-rehearsal rush, where they can relax a bit or be isolated from negative environment. Everything is intimate here. Here they seek for mutual backing and there is no place for desperation, protest. Everything flows downstream. Yet being incoherent, their actions fill us with peace and assure that the life here flows with no shocks and worries.
Here they are, so compassionate and careful towards each other. Just focus on the way they talk, the way they play, the way they grieve for and dream of. His heroes overcome this absurd world with his whirlpool of life, ineradicable naivety, kindness and hopes.
Suchlike impressions arise due to almost the most important peculiarity - Shota’s individual manner – the color, or to be more precise the treatment of light and color. The rambling actions of the heroes are aggregated by reductive palette comprising tints of brown, deep green, clear green, indigo and red hot. The very color and light are the elements filling up his artworks with the spiritual order. The color breathes with the warmth of stabile life, yet full of mystery…"Marina Stepanyan   Art critic


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