Ara Berberyan originals are acrylic and mixed-media paintings on canvas. The artist - also known as ARBE - incorporates a variety of other media into his work, creating texture in the abstract backgrounds or in the faces of his curious characters.
Trapped in their own emotion states, these peculiar figures exemplify the strange and the mundane experiences we all face from time to time in modern life. His palette is brave and confident, playing with primary colors in explosive combinations that capture the bizarre moods of his subjects as they bear witness with their eyes and faces to the cultural pressures that lay siege upon them. An occasional flourish of vibrant reds, blues, purple, green or lavender grabs and pulls us into their world. The effect Berberyan achieves is a mixture of expressionism and abstract movements, brimming with raw emotion, yet creating a World of his own imagination.
Growing up in Soviet Armenia, the artist received recognition for his talent early in life. The son of a well-known artist and Professor of Art & Design, Ara Berberyan had his first Exhibition at the age of 12, on an International Tour called,"The World by Childrens' Eyes".This Exhibition visited France, Italy, Canada and the United States. Later, he was invited to matriculate at the University of Art & Design in Yerevan, Armenia. Although it was difficult to locate books from the west, Arbe managed to obtain and study those of the artists he loved most: Dali, Picasso, Titian, Rembrandt, and Klimt.
He graduated with a Masters Degree in 1981 and promptly began his career as a fine artist by accepting Soviet Government commissions for murals at the Yerevan Airport, at theatres, hotels and other Government projects. After graduating from the University he was employed in an Architectural Office, "Gostproect", where he was asked to design facades for public buildings and office complexes.
The bold colors of his newest Contemporary paintings are reminiscent of those early mural paintings he did in the U.S.S.R.; and his crazed characters remind him of some of the mad Party loyalists and frightened young artists he associated with back then. "I wish we could all live in harmony", says the artist.
"I know it sounds simple, but finding a good balance between the laughter and the angst we all experience, this is what is important in life, and what I try to capture in my art".