Paintings and Drawings
Family and its history is a benchmark for Robert Barsamian to understand his heritage and his culture and take it to a larger view of the world. His journey to understand how history and culture has been a primary artistic drive to comprehend the trauma of his family’s survival of the Armenian Genocide. It’s personal and enlightening how events of the family are passed through to the next generation.
In his process to understand more of his Armenian culture, Barsamian did his research and discovered an ancient Armenian bird alphabet, the word and definition of “Armenoid”, the history of the religious Christian tribes and that Armenians were considered one of the earliest ones. As well as discovering Armenians creating the lapis blue pigment used for “illuminating” scriptures. Barsamian uses his cultural and family specific imagery to tell the story of his assimilation which started in the post war era of the 1950s. His baby portrait tells of the sainted baby and blessing …that had his baptismal name changed for “assimilation” once he started in the school system. Barsamian has created a language of color and imagery that is specific to him that resonates with oppression and the ancestors who guide him.
-Vicky Meek, 2000