AREG ELIBEKIAN

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Review

    Areg’s work is a straight forward reading, well defined, implying solidity and permanence. His works mainly involve the Bourgeoisie; the upper middle class, the affluent society and Café society. His delineation of urban landscape is highly sophisticated as his paintings are consistent in quality where the subjects determined by architectural streets, parks, churches and docks. His penchant toward impressionism led Areg  to a personal, consistent, and communicable view of man’s environment.

    He painted light-hearted scenes of recreation, applying large areas of bright color with superimposed flowing outlines, and in his open air views, impressionist-inflected study of intense light and color. Areg has discovered a whole host of new themes in the elegant world of entertainment, where the canvas is alive with activity, mobility, gaiety and warmth imbued with optimism.

     In his landscapes and scenery, some of which are virtually monochromes, he is a student of nature, which he considers his master.  In these lyrical and glowing landscapes, he employed numerous painterly devices to produce convincing detailed depictions with Duffy-like clarity. Incisiveness of his observation is matched be delicacy of his touch; the ingenuity and brilliance of his compositions are equaled by the subtle beauty of his colors. It is the tone of his imagery, as much as the novelty of his style that makes him different from his contemporaries. His images are visual experiences in very spontaneous terms;  they retain a sense of impressionist spontaneity. The also express a semi-articulate nature-mysticism.

Dr. Garabed Belian

Historian

 “Outremont on canvas”

Few artists have painted Outremont as Areg Elibekian does it. The moment Mother Nature takes off her winter cloak, who hasn’t seen him plant his easel and spread out his color tubes before the alignment of the terraces of Bernard Street, in order to capture the morning strolls or the exuberance of the end of the afternoon. Areg doesn’t love Outremont, he adores it. He is fascinated by the effervescence of the lively restaurants, enamoured with the charm of our beautiful parks, seduced by the shady avenues and their walkers. Ardent passion that lasts 22 years.

“Outremont, it’s a corner of paradise that reminds me of the charm of the small pleasant Parisian quarters. It’s a place that inspires me, that makes me joyful. I enjoy working outside and participating in the life of the quarter “, _ he likes to repeat. To sketch the beauty of a discreet smile, to live the rhythm of the “Bernardian” walks, to catch the enthusiasm of a waiter, to touch the tip of his brush a nice cornice; these are eruptions of happiness that emanate from his canvases. More than a hundred of them were imagined or created on-site Outremont. In 22 years, this comes to a considerable average of about 5 paintings a year only at home. Prolific. Before the Paltoquet on Van Horne Avenue, on Lajoie Street, and many on Bernard Street, but also in nature, Pratt Park, Joyce Park. His favourite Outremont, that reminds him of Place des Vosges in Paris. He can paint the same subject constantly, without stopping, like the one who caresses his beloved, such great is his pleasure.

“I came to know a lot of people since then”, _ he said with amusement. One day he seduced a group of cameramen that had come to the neighbourhood to find locations for a TV series. They fell in love with the extravagance of his installation at Outremont Park, a canvas of 36×48 cm on easel and all the rainbow of color tubes.  “Can we shoot a film”, _ was the question. The positive answer propelled the artist into the series “Les Jardins vus par…” broadcast on ARTV.

Areg Elibekian is one of these artists completely absorbed by their art. It’s not that he fell into it when he was yet a small child.  He was born with it. A sort of extension of three generations of painters with the surname Elibekian, an Armenian family from Yerevan. The grandfather Vahgarshag, active in the theatre environment, besides of being a naive painter, is famous for his colorful characters dressed in Caucasian coats and turbans in the markets of the Near East. The second generation, his father Robert who lives in Armenia, is a key figure in the artistic sphere. They say he paints the grace and creates pictorial music with his dancer and musician characters that live in his world since he was a child. His paintings are sold for very high prices. Father and son met a few times in Paris- halfway between Yerevan and Montreal- during several duo exhibitions. In 2008 a unique event- “One name, Three Generations”- assembled the artworks of the three painters Elibekian at the Musée des Maitres artisans du Québec.

When he is not in his studio or painting in situ, Areg takes his role of art instructor at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts or teaches acrylic painting to adults. He is also a professor of oil painting at the Centre Loisirs et Culture de Ville-Saint-Laurent. He is currently preparing the exhibition “Neighbourhood life” at l’Espace Laoun, that assembles thirty paintings of different neighbourhoods, in particular of Outremont, Plateau and Saint-Germain-des- Prés. A wonderful opportunity to get in touch with the talent of the artist and with the happiness that life in Outremont inspires in him. 

Outremont Newspaper