After the success of the show Memoranda at Peter Kilchmann, Zurich, Brand New Gallery is delighted to present the first Italian solo show by US artist Raffi Kalenderian (1981 Los Angeles).
Kalenderian’s work investigates the concept of the portrait as a mean of psychological investigation.
The artist paints young men and women, his relatives or friends, often in domestic environments. They seem to be waiting for someone or something, with their gazes often lost in the void, absorbed in a narrative that seems to have no limits in either space or time. Indifferent to those observing them, they appear apathetic, and clearly in contrast with the chaotic and overabundant environment of memories that surrounds them. “Using observation as a springboard towards distortion and abstraction”, Kalenderian portrays his subjects with alienated distance.
All perspective is eliminated, reducing figures and environments to two-dimensionality.
Kalenderian’s work takes a new direction for this exhibition. The artist focuses his attention on multiple versions of the same subject, exploring the psychological and phenomenological space.
As in the work Four Shantis where the artist portrays his brother, often the subject of his works, multiplied four times over, or in Shant (Shanti) Kalenderian, where his brother Shanti appears again with a second head reclining on a sofa. This second head, whose eyes appear closed, seems to be evidence of a different level of perception, a different state of consciousness.
Using the painting as a place for invention, where the artist can add limbs, heads and forms, Kalenderian attempts to capture a moment, or various moments simultaneously, as a documentation of existence.
published by Brand New Gallery
texts by Giorgio Verzotti