Printmaking / Drawing
Varoujan Hovakimyan is a genre-bending artist with multi-cultural and multi-media backgrounds. As dexterous as he is disciplined, he explores the complex layers of a person’s inner self juxtaposed against those of the wider world. His art examines how such deep connections can be realized on paper with line, color, perspective and form.
The inspiration for his work is found in hidden insights to common things: those which frequently go unnoticed. By constantly appraising the world, Varoujan develops new and ever-changing perspectives, often from unexpected places or occurrences. A prominent theme of his art is the human perception of stillness, silence and time.
Varoujan’s art is an eye-catching amalgam, reflecting both the concrete and that which is mystically evocative. From his intaglio copper plate etching of a rocking chair ensconced in the sky, “Meditation,” to a monoprint suggesting splashes of moisture reverberating into an ocean, “Water,” such simple small discoveries have the power to uplift and transform.
At this point, the sixteen-year-old was forced to make a hard choice: continue with his music or pursue a fine arts career. Since music for him was “painting with sound,” it was a tough decision. However, he opted to follow his muse and began a six-year, graduate school program at Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts. Varoujan studied graphic arts at the Academy until 1999, receiving extensive training in drawing, painting, illustration, and print-making. During this time he also participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions.
In 1999 Varoujan’s life took another turn when the family moved to Pasadena, California. In the Golden State, Varoujan continued to hone his craft as well as exhibit. During this period he also took up filmmaking. Music remains integral to his life as well, and since 2006 he has performed and recorded with famed, Armenian singer-songwriter Gor Mkhitarian. Uncomfortable with labels, Varoujan considers himself a visual artist in the widest sense. His art reflects this with its broad scope and content.
As a mature artist, he has consistently earned blue and red ribbons at internationally-acclaimed art exhibits and shows. His work today concentrates on mixed-media and printmaking and can be found in private collections here and abroad.
Like his muse Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, Varoujan strives to transform his experience into something that endures. With formidable technique and a mesmerizing imagination, his art brings us to a place where the literal and the mythic can meet.
- By David Keller