Robert Barsamian is an artist of Armenian heritage. His professional art career extends from 1969 to the present. He has exhibited his work in many venues (galleries, museums, universities, colleges, and alternative exhibition spaces) throughout the world. Barsamian conceptualizes his work based on personal experience. This has led him through several periods of growth in his imagery. His earliest work's content was surreal in focus. He then examined his early family life in the form of social realism. Upon his arrival in Dallas, Texas, he began a series of paintings dealing with an early childhood visualization of swimmers underwater.
In 1990, he was an innocent victim of a violent act and was shot during a robbery. During his recovery period, he recalled the stories his grandmother told him about her survival of the Armenian Genocide. He struggled with the concept of how to depict such atrocities, but after deciding to use art installations, he was able to convey the feeling of the inhumane acts perpetuated on the Armenians. Before the 1960’s, many Armenians didn’t speak of their experiences from 1915 to 1921 of violence, deportation, and forced labor inflicted upon them by the Ottoman government. Barsamian began expressing the injustices of the Armenian Genocide with his multimedia installations. From 1990 to 2010, Barsamian created installations involving the journey of survival that his mother, her parents, and her great grandmother endured on their escape to America. Each piece uniquely conveys a memory depicting the atrocities enacted upon these innocent victims of Genocide.
Since 2005, Barsamian has created a body of paintings consisting of three periods. The first is titled Absence/Presence, the second Reality/Dreams, and the third Three Degrees of Separation. The focus of these paintings deals with our acceptance of inhumane practices and man's juxtaposition to nature's accepted behavior of survival.