Blue Illuminations

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

PICT0591 Armenoid - A Self Portrait (Dry Brush Painting - Acrylic on Canvas 36x48) 2000.JP

Armenoid, dry brush, painting, 2000, 36" x 48"

PICT0609 Sossine - A Portrait of My Mother (Dry Brush Painting - Acrylic, Silkscreen - Gol

Sossine, dry brush, mixed medium, 2000, 20" x 20"

PICT0621 Moke Morkhor - A Portrait of My Aunt (Dry Brush Painting - Acrylic, Grapevine - S

Moke, dry brush, mixed medium, 2000, 29.5" x 42"

PICT0611 Lousaper The Light Bringer - A Portrait of My Grandmother (Dry Brush Painting - A

Luco, dry brush, mixed medium, 2000, 15" x 20"

PICT0607 Koko Swing Musician - A Portrait of My Father (Dry Brush Painting - Acrylic, Wood

Koko, dry brush, mixed medium, 2000, 23.5" x 17.5"

PICT0592 Takouh Mama Queen Mother - A Portrait of My Grandmother (Dry Brush Painting - Acr

Takouh Mama, dry brush, mixed medium, 2000, 16" x 20"

PICT0594 Da Da - A Portrait of My Grandfather (Dry Brush Painting - Acrylic, Wood - Canvas

Dada, dry brush, construction, 2000, 21.75" x 27"

PICT0597 Anna The Candle Bearer - A Portrait of My Great Grandmother (Prismacolor Pencil,

Anna, dry brush, mixed medium, 2000, 21" x 24.5"

PICT0601 Kirikor - A Portrait of My Great Grandfather (Prismacolor Pencil - Acrylic Paint,

Kirkor, dry brush, mixed medium, 2000, 12.25" x 19.5"

PICT0617 Sweet Sue - A Portrait of My Mother (Dry Brush Painting - Acrylic, Wood-Twigs Lac

Sweet Sue, dry brush, mixed medium, 2000, 13.5" x 21"

PICT0599 Var Var - A Portrait of My Great Grandmother (Prismacolor Pencil - Acrylic Paint,
PICT0614 Infant Baghdasar (Dry Brush Painting - Acrylic, Wood-Gold Leaf Panel Board 13x21)

Infant, dry brush, mixed medium, 2000, 13" x 21"

Installation Images

PICT0586 Blue Illumination (Site Specifice Installation) 2000.JPG
PICT0590 Blue Illumination (Site Specifice Installation) 2000.JPG
PICT0588 Blue Illumination (Site Specifice Installation) 2000.JPG
PICT0589 Blue Illumination (Site Specifice Installation) 2000.JPG