By Tamara Hovhannisyan
“The content of thought is the seed of the artist. Dreams form the bristles of the artist’s brush.” – Arshile Gorky
Armenia, a nation whose cultural heritage runs deep in time, has played a pivotal role in the shift of many movements in art and literature. This is a nation whose existential journey is based on art and language with notable representatives of this ancient culture participating in transforming periods such as twentieth century art movements, bridging Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism by experimenting with inner feelings and historical ruins together.
If one considers that suffering is universal, then, the ability to dream and create is also universal. This universality bridges generations and forges the uniqueness of a national creative identity. Such is the case with Armenia, where many generations of this undeniably creative nation have come together to form a type of kinship that unifies them emotionally and creatively.
The Armenian-born Serge Rouben is one of those artists that has managed to choreograph those feelings into shapes and colors. In his works one can touch forgotten lands, stolen valleys, and butchered innocence of the nation that became a victim of human brutality in the early 1900s.
Rouben’s art carries a profusion of colors leaving touchable shapes where the dreams of forgotten times, crying hopes for survival, and sparking illusions of happiness materialize. When he paints, his brush follows the dance of his own spirit and that spirit has an open wing that brushes to stay and be part of its own existential time allowance.