ARAVOT 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 “My Family”

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 the canvas?

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.

An Interview with Razmik Pogosyan in the Armenian newspaper "Aravot" 1995
An Interview with Razmik Pogosyan in the Armenian newspaper "Aravot" 1995

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.

Pogosyan at work
Pogosyan at work
Razmik Pogosyan
Razmik Pogosyan