Expert reviews

When I saw Vaga's latest paintings, I thought that they were entirely based on the collage technique. However, that was only my first impression. When I looked at them closely, I realized that every single element — including those drawn with paint, ink or pencil — were absolutely separated and, at the same time, linked by little graphic locks. Everything was simultaneously put together and integrated yet totally apart, which was an extremely interesting phenomenon.
Then you can see the outlines of letters and focus your sight on them. A few moments later, you will suddenly discover that these are not words.
The letters look familiar but they are not real. They only symbolize letters and create messages that are only clear to you. You immerse yourself deeper and everything starts looking familiar. You can see human shapes and distinguish the outlines of halos above them. And then suddenly it all transforms into the actual representation of maternity…
Sometimes, the collage can be perceived as still life. But I would actually refer to it as still life that can be traced back to archaic collages. This is when, instead of the formation of figurative art, simple elements give rise to entire worlds. Vaga's worlds.

Levon Abrahamian

Ethnographer and anthropologist

Corresponding member of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
Visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh (1994)
Columbia University (2001)
University of California, Los Angeles (2008)
University of California, Berkeley (1997 and 2015)
President of the Board of Trustees of the Matenadaran

I had quite a few impressions from looking at Vaga's paintings, two of which I am going to mention.
Paintings that are based on the unique combined technique - where graphics and water colors are mixed with collage - represent quite a complicated mechanism, which requires compositional skills.
This method plays a special part in European art.
Jean Jansem is an outstanding twentieth century's representative of that trend. He was an Armenian-born French artist whose remarkable works were based on lines, colors and minimalist tools.
In my opinion, his closest counterpart in Austrian visual art is Egon Schiele. This painter was able to produce an incredible effect on the viewer through his laconism alongside with nerve, minimalist approaches and rich expression.
Vaga's artwork holds multiple opportunities as he tries to find solutions in his ideas and impressions rather than objects. And his paintings are actually reflections and not just paintings.
When I say that, I imply something much higher than painted objects or settings. These are actually the ways they are interpreted and reflected in our mind. In other words, this is the target of art.
Vaga knows how to create invisible links in a nice and delicate manner. That's why his paintings can evoke an immediate response.

Hakob Movses

Poet and translator

Translated the prose and poetry of Nietzsche and Rilke into Armenian
Ex-Minister of Culture of the Republic of Armenia (1991-1996)

I've known Vaga for a very long time. As an intellectual, open-minded but also very sensitive person, Vaga has a very special way of revealing unconventional thinking in his artwork.
He combines all kinds of self-expression methods and techniques by using paper, flora, paints and non-chrome mixtures produced with his own hand. And he blends all that together so elegantly that you will be willingly or unwillingly amazed at the harmony created by those components and meanings.
I am sure that Vaga's paintings play a special and unique role in modern art.

Vahan Rumelyan

A modern armenian abstract artist

Participated in more than 30 group and solo exhibitions (1989-2024)

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