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Conversation with renowned painter Mher Khachatryan

Sunil Mantri: What is the type of paintings your do? Oil? Acrylic etc.?

Mher Khachatryan: I paint oil on canvas mostly, but also use acrylic and even work with installations. As an Artist I want to have no limits in expressing my emotions in to my art, it is the time when artist is truly honest.

SM: You became interested in art when you were 5 years old. Upon discovering you uncle’s paintings. Could you please tell us what exactly that painting was?

MK: I became interested in art after seeing a seascape that my uncle painted in Lake Sevan (it’s in Armenia) this painting was painted before I was born. I still remember that painting, beautiful blue on the lake and seemed to be so peaceful.

SM: What kind of paintings do you normally make? From your website gallery we see that most of the paintings have expressions and feelings in it (!armenian-genocide/cjrb)

Do you wish to express some kind of feelings to the world through your paintings?

MK: The Armenian genocide is the darkest chapter of Armenian history and also the history of world, when 1.500.000 (out of 3.000.000) Armenians were massacred just because they refused to become Muslim, they killed half of the population and the other half was saved by Russia, France. USA. I have many students (I teach at art school) and most of the students say that “looking at the pictures of Armenian Genocide, seeing the emotions (most of these work are life size) it feels like you were there. My answer is, I may have been there and that’s why I feel it so deeply and I have to express those feelings. And these paintings are also dedicated to all the Genocides in the past and current. I hope with this painting to educate people and hope that one day we all can leave in peace. As for my other paintings, I am very much into life and the candles, candles have real fire in them unlike man maid bulbs, I always been astonished by the fire and how it changes and lives and after it dies, it gives a birth to the smoke which also makes the most beautiful pattern we can imagine. (See at divine light)

SM: What are the challenges to be a painter and to take painting as a profession?

MK: The challenges we have in everything, and the challenges are healthy to have, because without them we can’t improve. Not as a painter, but as an Artist I feel like those challenges as they come, we embrace them, because we do it with pleasure. Most challenges for the artist is when other things get on the way and you can’t spend more time in the studio.

SM: Have you ever felt that you should give up painting and look for something else as a career.

MK: For me art is my life and I never thought about giving it up.

SM: How encouraging has been your family and your friends with your profession.

MK: My family has always been very supportive, when I was a little child my mom did everything to make sure I continue my art classes, even though we lived not very comfortably at times, because of the war with Azerbaijan, there we had little work in Armenia, and was hard for people to make a living. When my mom was younger she wanted to be a singer, and since it never happened (she got married, family and other challenges) she wanted to help me to become what I love. Thanks to my family, my mom, my father and my wife who is very supportive of my work, she always encourages to move forward, and she is one of my best critics.

SM: Europe is seen as a destination for art lovers. Do you wish to showcase your paintings in Europe sometime?

MK: Europe is on my schedule and we are working on exhibiting some of my work in Spain, and Italy.

SM: Could you share some memorable experience of the work you do through your NGO Art To Thank.

MK: I am proud of our veterans here and the work that I do for them is the least I can ( The Veterans give their life for our country so we can have freedom and enjoy the things we do today. Just talking to them we learn so much, and we all need to appreciate the sacrifice they have made for us. I meet them sometime and soon I will be offering free Art classes for the Veterans at our school

SM: Message to your fans and budding painters.

MK: My message to my artist friends or fans is to believe in yourself and you will be there where you belong. Thank you again.


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