Armenian artist: I wish money owners also had a little good taste
21:17 – 04.11.12
Photo by Samvel Sevada (Samvel Sevada’s studio)
The press recently confirmed the reports about the newly-opened A. a.
Auction Company’s plans to organizee the first ever auction of
Armenian artists’ works. The participants of the event, to be held in
both live and online formats, will be offered to purchase items for up
to $30,000. The organizers have explained their initiative by the
permanent supply of precious pieces of art in Armenia. Tert.am has
interviewed artist and photographer Samvel Sevada to know his opinion
about the advantages of such an event.
What benefits can the auction offer to the artists living and creating
It can offer a lot. The more they engage in such practices, the much
better. As for auctions, they are an incentive for a very good
movement. That is, the prices will begin to grow a little bit, which
is strictly important to our present-day painters.
Do you think pieces by the smart fellows may pave way to the auction,
leaving very good artists in the shadow?
Maybe, that’s quite possible. But the smart person here is not the
painter who does his job in a studio, but rather, the agents who earn
money on them. That’s the main purpose of auctions.
To the best of my knowledge, there are good artists whose canvases
sell for high prices without any action, but there are also painters,
who despite being good, never manage to have their pieces sold.
That’s what happens around the world. There’s no such practice as
determining whether this item is good or that one is bad. It depends
on how they work; there are companies and individual entrepreneurs who
appear smart enough to raise an artist’s reputation before selling his
or her item. Galleries do the same; they each have 10-12 painters whom
they give an order. So those artists paint a canvass. Galleries begin
earning money on them, increasing the price step by step and making a
legend out of all that a little bit. That’s normal.
What about Armenia? Do we have a school of such agents?.
It is beginning to develop gradually; it is actually those small
galleries that act as agents. There are 10 or 12 of them in Yerevan,
as far as I know.
What is the lowest price for the best artists’ works?
They vary depending on the artists; there’s no common standard. My
sketches, for example, range from $800-$1,000 now, but everyone has
Do you think Armenia has developed an internal demand for buying fine
art canvases, apart from the very few officials who appreciate pieces
of art and own private collections? For example, Armenian Ambassador
to Ukraine Andranik Manukyan, who is among the biggest collectors,
says in interviews that he always recommends works of art as presents
to be given at weddings and solemn ceremonies.
As I said a short while ago, it is developing little by little. I
would rather those having money also had a little good taste. Very
often I have seen a person take pride in an average painter who has
created a reputation for himself. The [Yerevan] vernissage offers
wonderful works. I was there yesterday; I go and stare [at the
paintings] for hours.
The vernisage in general imparts a nice color to our city, its artists
and the people.
Interview by Anush Dashtents