This article was published in the Armenian
newspaper ‘Aravot’ during a time of great hardship in the country, stricken by a
deadly earthquake, war, and a complete socio-economic shutdown. And yet, the
artist’s brisk and optimistic responses are a powerful tribute to the undying willpower and love
of one’s country, family, and everything that is beautiful in life, even in
times of difficulty.
newspaper, Yerevan, Armenia February 9, 1995
“Whomever I paint,
it always looks like my mother" - An Interview with Razmik Pogosyan
By Saro Gyodakian
When creating, which color do you prefer?
- The warm color
Do you choose your themes ahead of time?
- No. If they were to ask
me, while painting, what am I creating, I would not be able to explain. The
painting comes out all by itself.
Are you working with the same inspiration today?
- Yes. You know, hardship
presents its own interests.
Do you have any unfinished works?
- Many. Because while
creating I do not know when it begins, when it ends.
What do you prefer to paint the most?
- Nationalist subjects.
Do you have any particular favorite work?
- “Mother Armenia” and
Is art indeed born from its native soil?
- Yes. Without the mother
soil, how can one live, create?
Have you had many happy days?
- When years before we
had a meeting with William Saroyan, the world-renowned playwright, who had
traveled the entire world, answered to that very question, “When I open my
palm, in it I only see maybe five days when I have lived happily…
What is the power of true art?
- The power of life.
Who were your teachers?
- Eduard Isabekian and
Mkrtich Kamalian. I admired Bazhbeuk Melikian.
Have you ever painted your mother?
- A lot. My mother,
Siranush, would pose with great patience for me to paint her. And in general,
whomever I paint, it always looks like my mother.
Are bright works born at any time?
- Yes. If you have light
inside you. And if there is light, then there is everything. Light is life
itself, is it not?
Have you ever tried to paint God?
- I have an entire series
devoted to Christ. Last year I finished the “Crucifixion.”
Do the brushstrokes always follow your command?
- No. It is difficult to
always match one’s inside to the outside. That only came to Van Gogh..
Is it possible to give the torments of the soul to
- Whatever I paint is the
very torment of the soul. As Isabekian said, “The soul is emptied by painting.”
What does time represent for you?
- Time does everything.
When Picasso passed, it seemed to me that the world should stop. Yet, that did
not happen. Nothing changed.
Will these difficult times ever become a memory?
- Without a doubt. Our
nation has seen tougher days. They have come and gone. We are still here.