Today we’d like to introduce you to Samvel Aleksanyan.
Samvel, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born in Yerevan, Armenia on May 6th, 1993 shortly after the Armenian Independence from the Soviet Union. I lived there for the first eight years of my life before immigrating to the United States on September 5th, 2001. My family settled into North Hollywood, California.
Growing up in a foreign country was difficult, but I was able to learn the language and adapt to my surroundings relatively quickly. What I really liked about the Valley were the welcoming people and the environment. Though not pristine, something about my neighborhood reminded me of my old home, giving me a sense of peace and comfort.
In my early teens, I developed a deep fascination with visual art. I had always wanted to be an artist, but it was only when I was 14 that I really began to take drawing seriously. I began studying art under teacher Andranik Daibyan, developing an approach to art that focused mainly on fundamentals as opposed to textbook learning. I was never exposed to color theory or any kind of terminology. Instead, I was simply told: “draw what you see” – and my style and experimental approach developed from there.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
The creative process for me represents a separate experience from that of everyday life. For the brief moment, while I’m painting, I feel disconnected from reality and entrenched completely into the process itself. The reason only comes into my work when I am drawing from a source or working on a commission piece. Otherwise, my process is completely intuitive – I move my hand and something is produced, sometimes I surprise myself.
I think the inspiration for my work comes from some deeper emotional space that I am not entirely conscious of in my waking life. I often paint something that appears ordinary or otherwise incomprehensible and only understand the message behind the piece well after the fact -perhaps months or even years later.
The deep nature of artwork and the creative process is a mystery to me. I enjoy exploring it but feel that it’s a futile effort. At the fundamental level, I’m basically just a guy who does work and I feel that this view helps keep me grounded. If something needs to be done, then do it. Don’t plan, don’t second guess, and don’t question your ability to get it done. This is the approach that I take when creating art. Everyone can be an artist and make amazing things, everything is simply a matter of work and time.
What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
I think that the role of the artist is entirely fluid. Individual people make individual decisions. You have artists like Kara Walker, for example, who make political/cultural statements through their work. Then, you have artists that are uninterested in making a statement and enjoy creating for the sake of the process. There’s nothing wrong with either approach and I think that both avenues (or even those in-between) are relevant today.
Francis Bacon (the artist) detested decorative artwork, but I think that there is certainly a place for it in contemporary society. Not everything needs to mean something, furthermore, different work means different things to different people.
I, for example, painted a self-portrait once that reminded someone of a big fire in Oakland, CA. My intention wasn’t to make a statement regarding the fire, but the work somehow ended up making the statement by itself. That’s totally fine, in fact, I like that most of my work is open to interpretation. Hardly any of it has any intention at all and I welcome free association (so long as it doesn’t defame me or anything like that).
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work can be found through the following channels:
Website -> www.samaleksart.weebly.com
Facebook -> @samaleksart
Instagram -> @samaleksart
Twitter -> @samaleksart
You can order prints of my work here:
You can email me at:
- Website: www.samaleksart.weebly.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/samaleksart
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/samaleksart
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/samaleksart
Samvel Aleksanyan and my sister, Zara Aleksanyan