Featured Artist: Valentin Podpomogov
Valentin Podpomogov is an Armenian painter we’ve (gratefully) just discovered – a master of symbolism, surrealism and social commentary. Multi faceted and prolific, he was a designer, film art-director, sculptor, architect, actor and finally becoming a painter at the age of 50. Valentin was born in 1924 and he grew up something of an idler who was reluctant to study. He even boasts of how he was kept back in fourth grade for an extra year, before, to his relief, he was expelled. But a fourth grade education never stopped him from becoming the art director of the Yerevan city soviet. In 1940 at the age of 16, he was already working as an illustrator for film studios.
Podpomogov was deeply affected by the Armenian Genocide of 1915 (the total number of people killed has been estimated at between 1 and 1.5 million) and his art reflected humanity’s struggle against injustice, torture and oppression. Unfortunately, the photographs of his work (we could find) are often on the smaller side and some are inferior – but his painting speaks for itself in quality and imagination. His works are incredible monuments of surrealist narrative, iconic and timeless in their strength and vision.
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