Plunging into the unknown,
Hiding your own steps in it,
As the lands hide in a haze,
When everything is as dark as midnight.
My first meeting with a painter Vahan took place almost 30 years ago, in 1987, in the City Garden of Odessa.
Almost 10 years ago, in 2006, Vahan Ananyan died.
After 20 years of communication (even with the breaks) with such a painter as Vahan, it seems to you that people all over the world should know him.
But it isn’t so.
Even if somebody knows and remembers Vahan in his native country Armenia, it is in no way demonstrated and his name is not glorified as the names of Saryan, Bazhbeuk-Melikyan or Minas Avetisyan.
In his almost native city Odessa there is no place for the exhibition of his works even at the nonconformist exhibition, although it is difficult to imagine a more nonconformist painter.
In Tallinn, where he used to live and work for many years, only close friends remember him.
What is more surprising, that almost everybody who knew Vahan personally or who was acquainted with his paintings and drawings, strongly believe that he had an extraordinary talent and his works are the works of a genius.
Kiev, the city he used to visit, presents Úrbi et órbi of the painter Vahan Ananyan with the exhibition of his paintings and street portraits under a symbolic name “Meeting” in the picture gallery “Dukat” ten years after his death.
Vahan’s creative activity is divided for me into two main chronological periods: before 1995 and after 1995.
This division is determined by the fact that in 1995 Vahan received a heavy head and brain injury and narrowly escaped death. The cast-iron and tough graphics of his works of the period before 1995 changed for a gradual, soft tonality with the prevailing red, brown, white and always warm colour accents, which are specific for all periods of his activity. In Vahan’s works there is still “an iconic moment” (as he called it himself), because if a modern icon-painting exists, that is it in its strong, full and deep expression.
It is a thankless task to describe the works of the great painter in words, especially when it is possible to look at them and to meet their author in this way, because pictorial art is always a direct message through time to us, to those, who outlived the author, and to our descendants, who will outlive us.
The painter does not exist anymore, but his paintings still talk to us.
That’s what Vahan answered me, when I asked him about the future fate of his works:
<>-A painting is not a bun, you can’t eat it up
26th of August 2016