WATERTOWN — Gourgen Manoukian is a multitalented artist. A painter, he has not only created watercolors and oils, but also done set design for films and graphic arts.
Born in Yerevan in 1937 from a family of refugees from Van (his grandfather participated in the battles for the defense of Van during the Armenian Genocide), he graduated middle school in 1954 and from 1956-63 worked at Yerevan’s Russian Theater as a set designer.
He studied from 1965 to 1970 at Moscow’s Applied Art Faculty of the Textile Institute. After graduation, he began work in 1971 at HayFilm, the Armenian state film company, and Armenian television studios, as art director. As such, his artistic credits extend to around 40 art films and television productions. His artistic interests extend to Armenian traditional costumes, graphic arts, and cinema.
His best known films include “Hayrik,” “Kaos,” “Hetsyal, orin spasum ein,” “Depi Sasuntsi Davit,” “Spitak aper,” “Jur mer hanapazorya,” and “Hrazhesht sahmanits ayn koghm” but he also has created many paintings and watercolors.
Manoukian declared, “My paintings of the great figures of Armenian culture are my favorites, like Komitas, Aram Khachaturian, or Khrimian Hayrik.” When asked how long it takes him to complete a painting, he said, “Some are created over years, stopping and starting, others very quickly.”
Manoukian immigrated to the Boston area in the 1990s, after having two exhibitions of his work here, including a big one at the Armenian Museum of America.