Oil’s Well For Painter

By Joyce Rudolph

Glendale News Press
March 13 2008

Artist’s vibrant use of color and design in painting lands him Juror
Award in membership show.

For his vibrant use of color and design, Vladimir Atanian earned a
Juror Award for his oil painting "Dance of Metamorphosis," in the
Fine Arts Federation of Burbank’s Membership Show of mixed media works.

The show is taking place at the Creative Arts Center in Burbank
through March 20. Members of the arts federation, a support group of
the center, each enter one piece of artwork.

The Glendale resident’s winning abstract painting shows figures
dancing. And while each figure resembles a person, it is made of body
parts of four characters from the animal kingdom – an eagle, fish,
crocodile or shark.

It’s his impression of what people’s real characters are like inside,
Atanian said.

"I create this in my mind," he said. "The figures look like men or
women, but inside they look like a shark or crocodile. I show their
change of character, which is more menacing."

This mix of figures and animals reminded juror Christina Ramos of
one of the art world’s greatest masters, she said.

"What originally captured my attention was the Picasso-like quality
of the painting," she said. "Upon closer observation, I was drawn to
the figures, which utilized abstract shapes to create recognizable
images. The vibrant use of color and energetic design kept my eye
moving throughout the composition. This painting definitely made an
emotional statement."

The colors and design Atanian used was what caught the eye of Burbank
Creative Arts Center gallery director Frances Santistevan.


"The painting, with its bright and bold colors, reminds one of
Picasso’s cubism," she said. "It is a great design and beautifully

In the art movement known as cubism, subjects are broken up and
re-assembled, she said.

Atanian’s works include oils, acrylics and watercolors, and will be
presented in an exhibition in October at the Creative Arts Center,
Santistevan said.

Santistevan met the artist after she saw his artwork at the Burbank
Senior Artist Colony, a senior living facility that offers residents
artistic programs and workshops, Atanian said.

"I made a couple of projects for the building, three mosaic works on
the facade of the building on San Fernando Road and two murals inside
the building," he said.

Atanian has been painting for 50 years. He started when he was 18
and is now 68, he said. The first 45 years of his life he painted in
Russia and Armenia.

He came to the United States in 1993 and founded his art school,
Atanian Art Center – which is celebrating an anniversary in June.

Last year, Atanian received the city of Glendale’s Diamond Lifetime
Achievement Award in art.

It’s taken him 15 years, Atanian said, but he is getting to be
well known.

"When I started in 1992, it was very hard," he said. "But now I’m
very well known. I’m showing in galleries in Las Vegas, Irvine and
Newport Beach."