A Sentimental Surrealist Sculpts…
By Sebouh Gemdjian – 2001
Like the hum in the caverns of Mount Ararat – a union of maternal song with a primeval, murky pagan howl, Agop Gemdjian’s recent sculptures seem to emanate a certain warmth, while characteristically enveloped in a dark, surreal elegance. The cozy temperament seems to appear mysteriously in his works, despite his choice of heavy duty scraps of wood, industrial fabric, and aluminum as his media, somehow containing these otherwise uncomfortably expensive, dynamic compositions.
The wood, twisting in directions opposite to where it was twisted in its previous incarnation by the craftsman of some piece of furniture, rises to form an ancient eastern pagan obelisk, bends as a log on Noah’s Ark’s corpus, or even stretches in the figure of a man, but with defiance of Eden’s apple tree: A preconceived creation, carrying the very fruit of unpredictability. Contemptuously, it barely fits into the new form assigned it, plays its new role with spite. It contains in each of its pores, besides the ancient call of the wild, the surreal perceptual poison from Agop Gemdjian’s earlier work.
Aluminum is lacquered, and made one with fabric to form a shroud, covering a ship, or composing its sails. Cloth that is part aluminum – a luster fought and conquered by paint and varnish, but rigidity that only works in the perceptual twist of this series of sculptures.
So from where is this warmth invading? The only place left to search is the composition…
Each composition is centered by an obelisk. Be it a mast, or the peak of a cage, it is still that old defiant piece of wood.
The center is where the wood seems to almost break the seams of the artist’s control – the impetuous tree of Eden that it is. Impetuous because it contains the free will of an object that was once living.
For this reason, Mr. Gemdjian finds it necessary to sometimes sculpt a more detailed human figure out of that central piece of wood. Even in instances where he does not, he is obligated to impose upon it the Ultimate’s mark of control – the cross.
The cross is present in the abstraction of the human anatomy, as well as, on simpler level, in the mast. It is a religious reference. It is the residue of Eastern Orthodoxy, remnant of Agop Gemdjian’s native culture – the tradition of old Armenian icons. It carries with it, even in this context, the warmth of Trans – Caucasian Sentimentality.
Comfort and discomfort create a union in Agop Gemdjian’s sculpture series, giving them an almost decorative dimension.
So this is Sebouh Gemdjian on Agop Gemdjian’s art in 2001. Visit Agop here and as always, let Sebouh Gemdjian and Sebastian Briglia pamper you with social interaction here. Check the Art section of the website soon for a piece featuring recent Agop Gemdjian sculptures as well as Sebastian Briglia reading from “New Wave and the Art of Heroin Maintenance” for the first time, in his own voice!