Talar Aghbashian

Oil on canvas
75 x 60 cm

A persistent memory of a disproportionate, ill-sculpted arm of a statue of an assassinated politician, a memory of the toppling down of another statue seen on news footage, and scenes of destruction of historical monuments, converged into an emblem of a hand, as if from another world. Painting landscapes came to me after I first visited the ancient city of Palmyra six years ago. It has revealed itself in different interrelated themes ever since.

I use photo print outs, and project them onto my already heavily built up or thoroughly sanded down canvases. As I work, a painting’s alchemical make up, and the substance and process, is reflected in sync with my ideas and experiences. It forms in layers: some remain transparent, others dense; some blur, expand and shrink, get wiped, ever evolve and coexist.

The paintings are eerie, and haunted by a sense of unease. It is important that they are not exaggerated and that they look convincing. Left ambiguous, they are open to interpretation. They respond to our times, in which reality is continuously manufactured in our everyday, throughout the news and media.


Born in Beirut in 1981, Talar Aghbashian attended the Lebanese University of Fine Arts 1999-2003, St Martins School of Art London 2007-08, Birkbeck University London 2009-10. Received AGBU grant 2007, Benlian Trust grant 2008. Exhibitions include 'Salon D’Automne' Musée Nicolas Sursock Beirut 2007, 'This Constant Cracking of the Surface' Bargehouse London 2008, 'Spiritual Promises from Lost Prophets' Cordy House London 2008, 'The Minuco Art Show ’09' Coningsby Gallery London 2009, 'Treasured Objects'  Brunei Gallery SOAS London 2010, 'Odds Against Tomorrow' Bearspace London 2012, 'The Discerning Eye' Mall Galleries 2012 London. Recent solos 'Blind Finds' The Running Horse Beirut 2013, 'Site/Sight' Carbon 12 Dubai 2015.

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