The Buchmann Gallery is delighted to announce its first solo show of works by Raffi Kalenderian (*1981, lives in Los Angeles); Kalenderian's works were first featured by the gallery in the exhibition Crystal Worldin 2010.
Raffi Kalenderian's pictures show people from his circle of friends whom he portrays in relaxed, everyday poses. The specific situation during the portrait sitting plays an important role in the creative process and it helps to capture the flowing boundary between the physical and the mental world of the person portrayed.
Kalenderian emphasises the interior world of the person he paints through the elements he adds to the figure. Wildly flourishing plants can be seen as a metaphor for a spirited, irrepressible personality, and abstract or surreal elements underscore the predominant mood of the picture.
Often he shows the model in several poses in a single painting. With this compositional approach he succeeds in capturing multiple emotional states in one picture, and at the same time portrays a sequence of events. The motif of the doppelganger indicates the various facets of the sitter's personality.
For Raffi Kalenderian, every detail in the figure's surroundings is as important as the figure itself. He engages closely with the painterly execution of the patterns on clothes, the folds of a curtain, the fringe on a carpet or the coverlet on a bed. The new paintings have a strongly accentuated and characteristic style. The equal significance of the model and the surroundings, combined with an unusual spatial perspective, give Raffi Kalenderianâ€™s paintings and drawings their high degree of originality.
Many of the pictures that were painted in his studio include unfinished paintings - a moment of self-reflection. The painting, which in the eye of the beholder is finished, references other paintings that will follow or which have been discarded: the process of artistic creation is an open system.