Armenian artist sculpts historic Jerusalemites in layers of paper and aluminum

It’s a colourful assortment of historic figures gathered in Karen Sargsyan’s momentary studio housed in a former moshav hen home, starting from King David, King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, to Herod, Suleiman the Magnificent, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and Anna Ticho.

What these figures all have in frequent is their affect over town of Jerusalem, and, for the second, their many-layered faces and our bodies, sculpted in multi-layered sheets of paper or thinly sliced layers of aluminum, generally sprayed to brilliant, uniform colours, at different instances left to their pure, silver sheen.

“I didn’t separate Jewish history and history, it’s one big thing,” mentioned Sargsyan. “These guys made part of history.”

Sargsyan sculpted a whole of 9 figures, together with Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, Herod the Great, Melisende the crusader queen of Jerusalem, Suleiman the Magnificent.

They’ll quickly be moved to their momentary abode on the Tower of David Museum, as half of the “Rock Paper Scissors” exhibit opening July eight, that includes Sargsyan, a Dutch artist of Armenian background, identified for his daring, intricate sculptures made of paper.

Some of the collectible figurines are human-size sculptures, constructed round a wood base, but oddly lifelike, with facial expressions, limbs and our bodies seemingly prepared to maneuver and act, because of the Sargsyan’s signature approach.

His trademark model was developed throughout artwork research on the famend Rijksakademie artwork faculty in Amsterdam, the place Sargsyan moved together with his household after experiencing financial and political pressures in his homeland of Armenia. He additionally credit his sculpture approach to his earlier expertise as a boxer and his faculty research, when he took anatomy programs that helped him perceive the workings of the physique.

A jaunty King Herod, as depicted by paper artist Karen Sargsyan (Courtesy Ricky Rachman)

But this internationally identified paper artist remembers first turning to paper lengthy earlier than that interval, as a type of experiment as he found out the planes and traces of the human physique.

That was greater than 20 years in the past. Since then, Sargsyan, now 45, has proven internationally, together with London’s Tate Modern and France’s Centre Pompidou.

 “These new works by Sargsyan, which were created especially for this exhibition, bring a unique, modern interpretation to Jerusalem’s historical figures,” mentioned Eilat Lieber, who directs and is chief curator of the Tower of David Museum.  “The figures add an artistic dimension which express, in a visual manner, the hopes, influences, plans and challenges which accompany the history of the city through thousands of years.”

Delving into Jewish biblical figures, or historic heroes identified for his or her assist of the Jewish or Israeli trigger wasn’t all that easy for Sargsyan, whose Dutch colleagues and associates regarded upon this upcoming present with some consternation for Israel’s politics.

“I’m not religious or political,” mentioned Sargsyan. “I approached this as a novice.”

Karen Sargysan’s King David, arrange exterior the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem for the exhibit ‘Rock Paper Scissors’ (Courtesy Ricky Rachman)

He turned to some bible examine, studying each the Old and New Testament to grasp the context of the Tower of David and to familiarize himself with some of the biblical heroes, in addition to literary takes on the bible.

“I needed to interpret these people,” he mentioned. “To see what kind of influence they had on the city of Jerusalem.”

Sargsyan and his spouse got here to Jerusalem three months in the past, together with a cargo of 100 kilos of aluminum and schlepping greater than 2,500 knives, with plans to create 9 works earlier than the July opening of the present.

Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the founder of the trendy Hebrew language, as recreated by Karen Sargsyan in layers of plastic Courtesy Ricky Rachman)

Some of the sculptures are the scale of a human physique, others are smaller, corresponding to Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, proven sitting at his desk, or Anna Ticho on the point of paint.

Ben-Yehuda, in blacks, whites, yellows and reds, ended up being sculpted out of skinny sheets of plastic, Sargsyan’s interpretation of this extra “modern, very contemporary person.”

Anna Ticho, a spherical rotund determine holding an artist’s palette, is in the pinks, purples and greens of her personal watercolors, and comprised of aluminum sheets spray-painted to a strong, advantageous sheen.

The finish consequence of every sculpture is nearly scarecrow-like in impact, with layers upon layers of finely lower, shredded paper and aluminum, however with sharp edges, providing planes of a face, hairs of a bear, motion in the limbs, the curled edges of a helmet worn by Suleiman.

“It’s been three months of very intensive work, day and night,” mentioned Sargsyan. “But the Tower of David is a super great place to do this.”

A closeup of the Queen of Sheba, as depicted by paper sculptor Karen Sargsyan, for ‘Rock Paper Scissors,’ opening July eight on the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem (Courtesy Ricky Rachman)

There will likely be actions and seminars for kids, households and adults all through the course of the exhibit, which is open till October 1.

Children’s actions will likely be supplied in the course of the summer time months and will concentrate on varied strategies for utilizing paper, paper-cutting, collage and mushy supplies for creating multi-faceted shapes of totally different sizes.

There can even be free entrance to the Tower of David Museum for kids from July 15 by way of August 31. Sargsyan will current gallery talks and artwork seminars for the neighborhood as properly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *