I’m Tamar Kasparian, I’m a painter. I live and work in Brussels, Belgium. I love my city because Brussels, being the center of the European community, is really cosmopolite but also not too big and really green. A lot of artists live here in my neighborhood.
What has your artistic journey looked like? Did you start young? Did you study art?
I never studied art but I began to draw when I was a child thanks to my father and my grandmother. They are both very creative, imagining all the time things. They gave me that powerful and unavoidable need/desire to create. After high school, I had the choice between an Art school or study at the University to become a civil engineer (I also was in love with mathematics) and I finally took a more materialistic option and studied Management at University. I tried to avoid that need to create and to have a “normal” life, I worked as a manager during years but I was still drawing at night. Then things happen in life, some fears disappear, people go, other poeple make you evolve… all these gave me a huge kick in my ass. I had the choice between becoming crazy or creating, so I decided to stop my job and paint, draw, try to show my work at least during one year and it’s now more than 4 years that i’m a full time “artist.”
I do not regret this journey it is an evolution, it’s a part of my research. I do not regret art studies, I think that we learn a lot by making errors which sometimes lead us to interesting things. I also learnt a lot by discussing with older artists. Somebody who I trusted asked me to work only in black and white to avoid artifice and find my own “écriture”. I did it during more then one year, it was sometimes hard and frustrating but really interesting.
There are many elements of “distortion” in your work. Sometimes just a little. For example, (one of my favorites) your series Just Me Myself & I looks very real, but there are tiny distortions (i.e. super long necks). Why do you do this?
Honestly, I have never really thought about it. I do not see the interest to reproduce exactly the reality except as an exercise. I sometimes make it to improve technically my drawings but I do not show this work. It is the important revolution that photography brought to painting.
The only technical exploit does not have interest for me, it is necessary to “fetch” something more. These small distortions are a way of stressing something that I feel in the person whom I draw. You can also see these distortions in my serie I’ll be your mirror, a serie of double self portaits and portraits of other women. The mirror is never perfect, there are small distortions in the eyes in the hair but the 2 portraits are always based on the same photography. I wanted to emphasize the complexity of a soul. A did a double portrait like that of a young girl and she told me that her mother was shocked because she saw herself in one of the portrait although they are not physically alike. I had never seen the mother, so I was happy because I found something in that girl that is a part of her.
Can you talk about the words you write in your art? Why do you do that? What inspires them?
I write words mostly in my sketchbooks. They are like “how I feel today” and can be inspired by a book, someone I met, the lyrics of a song…
Other pieces look like science illustrations, almost. What are you drawing when you draw something like Triptyque La Bailarina? Why do these subjects inspire you?
It’s the obsessive part of my work process. Drawing small details, not really knowing where I’m going. It’s mostly the texture of the paper (or the wood, the oil, all the materials which I use) which guides my hand.
From small to big, decomposition to composition, from chaos to order to chaos… If you look at Triptyque La Bailarina you can see veins, branches, roots, organic cells, but with a certain distance, you’ll see the movement of a dancer of flamenco. It’s more visible in the first version of La Bailarina.
Do you have a favorite piece (or a couple) you can share with us? Why are they favorites?
I don’t really have a favorite piece because each piece is a part of my life, someone I met, a song, a place, a feeling, an obsession… So let’s say that tree because it remembers me the sound of the wind of a little town Tarifa where I feel home.
Where do you hope to go with your art? More importantly, what are your dreams?
My dream is to have enough time in my life. It’s like am always fighting with time, as an artist you need time to create, time to feel, time to let things come, time to meet people, to share, to discover… but you spend half of your time trying to find new exhibitions opportunities, preparing portfolios for contests, networking and earning money to eat. In a more practical way, this also means to earn enough money to be able to continue painting and drawing …
In the short term, I would like to show my work abroad like I did last summer in France and have the opportunity to create more 3D installations. I would also like to develop 2 projects, one is about masks and the other is about hair.
Can you give some advice to our audience? What is this art and expression thing all about? Is it important?
It’s important for me and I suppose if they read this article it’s also important for them. I don’t need to find a sense or an explanation to art, I’m not sure it has sense but what is important it to feel something. If just one time in your life you feel something in front of an artwork or listening to as song, it’s worth it.
You can always say that there are more important things in life, that people are struggling for their lives in some parts of the world, that art is a luxury. Just look at this video. Even in a country like Syria right now, Art is important.
Next solo exhibition: September 2013 @ Libre Choix, Brussels, Belgium