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2024-04-10 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine Ruben Baghdasaryan Enters His Blue Period

Ruben Baghdasaryan Enters His Blue Period

Photo by Clifton Mooney

Last year, Armenian born artist Ruben Baghdasaryan was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. “The news came as a shock,” he says. As he embarked on a difficult year of treatments and diligent care, he sought solace not only in his work, but in one specific color.

“The color blue to me symbolizes mystery and solitude, [it became] a soothing balm for my soul during a period of uncertainty and introspection,” he says. “I realized that my art was a testament to the healing power of human connection—a gentle reminder that love is the ultimate remedy.”

On this journey, Baghdasaryan switched from acrylic paint to oils and began creating small portraits of young Angelenos and New Yorkers that are part of his immediate world, his “chosen family” as he calls them. “My muse, Paris-based ballet dancer Andreas Giesen, emerged as a central figure,” he explains of the pieces, which are shown in clusters. “Each mosaic of portraits presents a blend of face portraiture and semi-nude imagery,” Baghdasaryan says. “Some evoking a sense of playful sensuality, while others exude an aura of enigmatic allure.”

Baghdasaryan posing with his work
Photo by Erik Melvin

The portraits are all painted in a particular shade, tinged with strokes of green and white that designed to evoke a sense of detachment, and give the work an ethereal quality. As the name of the series suggests, Baghdasaryan was influenced by Picasso’s famous Blue Period.

“Just as Picasso delved into themes of melancholy and introspection, I found resonance in exploring similar emotional depths in my art,” he explains. “The somber hues and introspective themes characteristic of the Blue Period have inspired and informed my creative expression, infusing my work with a sense of emotional depth and contemplation.”

Photo by Erik Melvin

One figure that appears in the show that isn’t a real friend of Baghdasaryan is Pinocchio. The storybook character is portrayed without strings. “These strings represent more than just physical control; they are metaphorical ties to societal expectations, toxic relationships, and self-doubt,” the artist reasons. “By presenting Pinocchio without these constraints, the piece celebrates the act of breaking free and the courage it takes to assert one’s independence. It’s a narrative of liberation.”

Ruben Baghdasaryan: Blue Bonds is on view at Atamian Hovsepian Curatorial Practice until April 20th.

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