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Vahé Berberian

Vahé BerberianVahé BerberianAt 6'2", Vahé, with his long, soft-gray, braided hair and strong, angular features immediately attracts attention. But it is his personality and his work that captures peoples’ hearts. Vahé Berberian, an Armenian painter, author, playwright and actor, was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1955. He grew up in Beirut in an intellectual milieu. His parents’ home was a meeting place open to friends from the worlds of theater, literature and the arts. He later relocated to Los Angeles, where he has been a resident since 1976. Vahé studied art in both Lebanon and the United States; and he received a degree in journalism with honors in 1980.

“I find it hard to label myself with an ‘ism’ that would categorize my painting style,” says Berberian. “I believe that any attempt of recreating reality would be simple illustration,” he says. “An artist creates his own reality, and reality, according to Aragon, is that which has no contradictions. It entails no conscious thought, creating without boundaries and laws. No conscious thought means no doubts, which means you’re in a reality that is fascinating.”

Vahé has participated in more than 30 individual and group exhibitions throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. “His work is about who he is,” Caroline Lais-Tufenkian, the curator of Vahé’s most recent one-man show, says. “Berberian is successfully working from his hybrid cultural background. Several components have been key in the construction of his complex and rich aesthetic identity: His cross-cultural background, modern abstract expressions and him being a Los Angeles artist. Berberian offers a new dialect to the western artistic style of abstract expressionism.”

“I express myself simply to keep my sanity.”

Berberian has always painted as a complement to writing and acting, never able to forfeit one form of art for another. “Theatre is conditional on what others do, and its temporality is limiting, whereas painting is personal, direct and does not need a mediator. However, each form feeds on the other, pushing its influence into the world of the other.”

Berberian’s artwork has made its way into the presitigious homes of collectors, such as Opera Director, Peter Sellars; actress, Mariett Hartley; former Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ernest Fleischmann; Canadian filmmaker, Atom Egoyan; Paris fashion designer, Sonia Rykel; Paris publishers, Alain and Raymonde Nave; and architect Frank Israel among others. Vahé’s works have also been displayed in films, such as "I Am Legend," "Ocean’s 13," "Inside Man," "Adaptation," "Spiderman 1, 2 & 3," "Jersey Girl," 'Permanent Midnight," "Jawbreaker," "Executive Power," and "Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her." His work has also been featured in the Emmy-winning series "24" and "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."


ARTWORK BY VAHÉ BERBERIAN

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