While Hagop’s works are eye-catching – even startling – in their surrealism upon first glance, they are very much grounded in reality.
by Hattie Xu
Born in Damascus, Syria in 1977, Hagop immigrated to the United States with his sister when he was just twelve years old. As a Syrian-Armenian, he is motivated to preserve his culture and share it in a way that challenges stereotypes. One of Hagop’s “Aristocrats” is a woman wearing a draping headscarf and an embroidered blouse. Her features are pretty and delicate, with small petal lips and thin brows. But like “Walrus Woman,” this is not just a depiction of a Middle Eastern woman – a large dragonfly with its wings spread obstructs the view of most of her face.
Hagop’s interest in collage, whether it is created from physical items or digital images, always leads back to the idea of synergy. “The product is greater than just the sum of its parts,” Hagop said. “You could take really simple things, and together, they create this really powerful message.”
These days, his “Aristocrats” are created with collage against a plaster background, which has a cracked, yellowish appearance and gives the pieces a strong texture while suggesting the age of the sourced images. Black ink is dripped on the bottom, also seeming to pay homage to the books. While many of the “Aristocrats” are rendered in black and white, Hagop has more recently returned to using some color by painting the background.
In addition to canvas pieces, he has also completed many works of street art, which he appreciates for being accessible to and inclusive of everyone. For more about Hagop and his art, go to http://madeofhagop.com