The Double Life of Sarko Meené
Armenian Artist’s Solo Exhibition “Duality” Debuts in Los Angeles at the Wilshire Ebell from November 6 – December 2, 2014
By Nicole Muj
Rising star on the international art scene, Armenian artist Sarko Meené recently opened her first solo show in Los Angeles, under the stunning backdrop of the art salon in the Wilshire Ebell.
The award-winning artist lives and creates primarily in a summer home located in the woods of Dilijan, Armenia. Consciously choosing to not reveal too much information about her career background, she rather wishes that the viewer not be disturbed or influenced by the noise of an artist’s biography when viewing an artwork.
The Wilshire Ebell selected only a few artists to showcase at its prestigious art salon, and Meené was among those invited. After accepting, Meené returned home to her studio in Armenia where she created a new collection of paintings. The exhibit is built around the series titled “Duality” which Meené comments, “should always remind people to not despair.”
“Duality,” comprised of nine paintings, from which the proceeds of one piece will be donated to charity, will be showcased at the Ebell through December 2, 2014.
About her new exhibit, Meené offers the following in-depth description, “The Ebell exhibition opening was dedicated to my philosophy professor, without announcing it publicly. He knew it and I knew it and that was good enough. I believe, a big part of me being an artist today came from meeting Dr. Levenson in 2003. Although my grandfather was always supporting the idea of me creating, let it be writing, painting or even performing, I never had the self confidence needed to pour my heart out on a canvas or a piece of paper and present to a very large group of people. Studying philosophy with Dr. Levenson helped me to get over many of my phobias. This exhibit is based on my series “Duality,” which are paintings with two sides. The only things connecting the two paintings is that they are made by the same hand and are painted on the same board, just on opposite sides, so they are somewhat “tied” together but are opposites. The idea comes from one of my most favorite philosophical ideas that Plato used to prove that the soul is immortal. It says that “opposites come from opposites” so nothing really stops things, just switch. As I started to work on the series, I realized that there are indeed too many things in life that we don’t see and they are always there. So when you look at one side of the board, you forget that there is something else on the back and when you flip it, the painting shown again captivates you. When one alternates the paintings, they remain much loved, while when one is always looking at the same painting, although it can be very loved, after some time it remains unnoticed. Just like in life, when you have too much of one thing, you stop noticing the blessing of it. There is a very long story behind these duality paintings — it is all about human psychology. These duality paintings are surrounded by my paintings as “intellect,” “grounded,” “thoughts,” “morning,” “afternoon,” “night,” “today” and “what I rather see around me” so as a whole they make complete a circle of a philosophical approach to life. Nov 6 was also my professor’s birthday.”
For her long-term goals, she comments, “I dream to make Sarko Meené a recognizable name in the art world, specifically because I want my ideas to be heard by as many people as possible, and I am ready to work very hard for it. Like I say in my ‘non-biography,’ I am full of words, but am not able to express anything using them, so instead I deliver my philosophy of life in colors. Hence, I want to have more readers. Once I was told that my painting made someone want to live, so I am hoping I will be able to continue creating powerful works as such.”
“As for a less romantic future plan,” she adds, “I would like to see one or two of my works at Art Basel next year.”
Meené, who is also planning a solo exhibition in San Francisco this December, will no doubt achieve this goal.
Event Photos Courtesy of Armen Poghosyan
Artwork Photos Courtesy of Tigran Toymasyan