"The Reader"

Canadian Doctor Creates Elegant, Abstract Statues

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MONTREAL — Canadian-Armenian sculptor, Megerditch Tarakdjian, was born in Aleppo, Syria but left for Canada decades ago to attend medical school.

Despite being a self-taught artist, Tarakdjian has acquired great artistic knowledge and experience. From a young age, he was interested in painting and sculpting, which he practiced during his student years. Although he chose a career in medicine, he continued painting and sculpting as an amateur artist.

As he took on sculpting, and despite having the renowned sculptor Arto Tchakmakcian as his mentor, Tarakdjian remained mostly uninfluenced by the other artists.  He sought to find his own solutions when composing his works and, as a result, most of his sculptures bear his unique form of expression.

Statue of Komitas in Montreal

As art critic Moves Hergelian mentions, Tarakdjian’s non-classical surrealistic sculpting style “is not an easy one. The artist who creates in this style has to be simultaneously good in realistic sculpting, in order to be able to produce a realistic figure, as well as in semi-abstract solution, in order to compose only a part of the sculpture yet give it the appearance of a complete figure.”

Many of Tarakdjian’s sculptures are prominently placed in cultural centers across Armenia. They are at the Aram Khachaturian House-Museum, at the Yeghishe Charents House-Museum, the Charles Aznavour Museum, the National Academy of Opera and Ballet Theatre, the Komitas State Conservatory, the Komitas Chamber Music House, the Museum of Folk Art, the Museum of Modern Art in Yerevan, the Armenian Ethnographic Museum of Sardarabad, and the Academy of Art, among others.

In North America, Tarakdjian’s works are placed in many cultural and public institutions as well as embassies in Ottawa and Washington, DC. One of them is a monument to the world-renowned Canadian-Armenian photographer Yousuf Karsh, which was erected in downtown Ottawa, Canada, to mark the 25th anniversary of Armenian-Canadian diplomatic relations as well as Canada’s 150th anniversary. Tarakdjian’s “The Reader” statue is placed at the entrance of the Reginald Dawson Public Library of Mount-Royal. In 2018, the monument of the first Armenian Ambassador to the United States, Armen Garo, was inaugurated at the Armenian Embassy in the United States in the presence of the President of the Republic of Armenia. Tarakdjian’s most recent work, the monument of Komitas, is now erected in front of Parc de l’Armenie in Montreal on the occasion of Komitas’s 150th anniversary.

Yousuf Karsh statue in Ottawa

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Megerditch Tarakdjian’s sculptures vary in place and in content, but they all have one important aspect in common: humanity. His various sculptures reflect the cultural trend of the time, yet they are distinguished by the harmony of life and hope. As a physician, as well as an artist and an art lover, Megerditch Tarakdjian believes in the healing power of art.

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