Arts Review Yerevan: The Artist as Anarchist - Arman Grigoryan
"The Armenian community suppresses individuality and forces people to be similar to each other. The characters on my paintings are in communities as well, but each of them decides for himself the way he wants to be, what community to choose and underlines his individuality upon his own choice", says Arman Grigoryan, one of the founders of the avant-garde movement of the 1980s in Armenia, whose exhibition opened at the Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (NPAK) in Yerevan.
"I want us to understand that the Northern Avenue is a symbol of socialist revolution. Tamanyan’s design plan symbolizes the victory of the Bolshevik revolution and not that of wealthy people as it is interpreted today,” says Grigoryan. The naked soldier of Slavonic appearance and the woman symbolize also sexuality and freedom: “North is a kind of a dream for Armenians. Everyone speaks of the West, but we say the North. North has been a kind of a symbol of modernism; individualism has come from there. They are naked because progress for me is tied up with nakedness. True heroes are naked. Statues of people in overcoats cannot express the heroism of the shown persons," he says.
As Vahan Ishkhanyan from ArmeniaNow pointed out, "...so much effort and sacrifice would be needed to have the conservative Armenian community revolutionized and tolerate nudists, anarchists and punks. It’s easy to have it on the canvas: there is no need for revolution and struggle, and Grigoryan realizes the dream for freedom in the Armenian surrounding making those things compatible."
For more about artist and his work, read ArmeniaNowhere