Portraits: Aram Isabekyan’s Way of Seeing

Portrait painting occupies a special place in Aram Isabekyan’s multi-genre art. He is certainly the best in this genre of painting today. Many share this opinion: his father, Eduard Isabekyan used to emphasize this and appreciate his son as a master in portrait-making.

In a few days, on September 26, Aram Isabekyan will mark the 25th anniversary of managing the State Academy of fine Arts of Armenia. His exhibition entitled “Portraits” held at “Albert and Tove Boyajian” exhibition-hall, is dedicated to this jubilee event. The atmosphere was truly warm and the hall was full of people. Among the exhibited portraits there were both works painted many years earlier and completely new ones unfamiliar to the public.

Portrait painting is considered to be a complex genre. The process of image creating requires certain skills of a psychologist from the artist in addition to his professional mastery. For Aram Isabekyan, here regarded as portrait-painter, this factor plays an important role. He has a special, we may even say, an intuitive sense of revealing human being, human nature which is very important in portrait making process. As an artist he has a special attitude towards the model․ Years ago during the meeting at “Moscow House” he confessed that he didn’t make any special choice when painting, the most important thing is to do it with heart. But the approach is completely different when it comes to portrait painting. And right here the choice is tough: he likes to paint people who he knows and understands. He doesn’t consider that all the paintings are successfully portrayed; as a rule those are the people who didn’t open their nature to the artist when working. “If I don’t succeed to feel and reveal the inner world of the person, I consider the painting unrealistic”, told Aram Isabekyan.

This is indeed so; to be sure it’s enough to take a look at the portraits of different years introduced at the exhibition. They are of typical classic style in an atmosphere of dark color solution distinctive to his earlier period. Especially Paravon Mirzoyan’s portrait proves the above-mentioned; there is a solemn breath of medieval painting there.

It’s difficult to single out any portrait however  at the same time it is impossible not to notice his daughter’s portrait- Ann’s main portrait (there are a couple of Ann’s portraits introduced at the exhibition-hall) entitled “Renaissance” that we may say, is the artist’s visit card. This work is prepared with a deep fatherly love for the daughter. And exactly this is the main key to success- a unique mascot for the artist.

Among his most famous and impressive portraits is “My father’s portrait”; one may have an impression that the master is by your side, the painting is so real and alive. Portraits of art-critic Viguen Ghazaryan and painter Edik Vardanyan, as well as those of Arkadi Ter-Tadevosyan, Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan and his son Mher Isabekyan, etc. are exceptionally successful portrayals…

Aram Isabekyan demonstrates an individual approach to every character. Due to his mastery in performance, disclosing human nature, individualization of the character, his portrait art reaches a high level and has long been known and holds its honorable place in this genre of Armenian painting.

Melanya Badalyan

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