Born 1994, yereven, armenia
lives / works: los angeles, ca

Ruben’s work is known for his stylized approach to both still life and figurative painting, by incorporating his own subjective personal history through memory, photographs, and love stories, that are not always his own, but those that have been told, passed on, or inferred. He carefully uses colors with a lot of research and experimentation to create contrast and harmony. Rather than simply representing what has been seen, he renders that which is left unsaid or that is unable to be articulated. Ruben invites you to experience a sense of nostalgia, mystery, and intimacy with his paintings.

The subjects alternate between face portraiture and semi-nude pictures of body parts, some overtly homoerotic. Some smile mischievously at the viewer, while others remain distant and wary, cloaked in fashionable mystery. Who are these models? They are mainly friends, chosen family members whom Baghdasaryan knows intimately, while others are acquaintances, people in passing.

To compare a young artist to Picasso involves no small amount of writerly hubris, but Baghdasaryan displays the same facility with both line and expression, as well as the ability to use geometry to advantage, as did the great masters of modern art. Baghdasarayan’s particular hue of alluring blue contains large amounts of green and hints of yellows that suggest alienation and lend his portraits their slightly otherworldly edge.

His color choices at hand remind one of great twentieth century artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, and Matisse, who also favored the color blue for certain periods in their respective careers.

Blue is also a coded reference in certain cultures to being queer, as in “blue boy” or the Russian slang word “goluboy.” If there is such a thing as a “queer aesthetic” than Baghhdasaryan has it in spades—the subjects are remarkably intense, and somehow different.

Ruben is currently working on new a new series of oil paintings and commission projects in Europe and the United States.

Copyright © 2023 Ruben Baghdasaryan.
All rights reserved.