Thursday, December 16, 2010

Krikor Bedikian

One of the liveliest figures in Parisian art circles these days is an Armenian painter named Krikor Bedikian, who rejects all the artistic isms of contemporary Paris in favor of a strong, realistic style of his own. His guiding rule is one that he believes also guided the men of the Italian Renaissance: "Paint so that even illiterates will understand you."
Self portrait with white beret
Paris critics admit that Painter Bedikian, 44, knows his business, but most consider him an artistic reactionary, complain that "his work adds nothing to the general history of art." A small corps of Bedikian boosters disagrees. One enthusiast, writing in the financial daily, L'lnformation, has even called him "one of the great names of tomorrow . . . the heir to the old masters and the greatest modern painters."
Krikor Bedikian, Frau Beutler, Bruno Hesse, Karl Beutler
Bedikian has not always done that well. A serious artist since he was 15, he learned to draw with chalk as an orphan at a French school in Beirut, soon set out for Paris, doing sidewalk portraits along the way for carfare. In the early '30s, Bedikian spurned the schools and studied alone at the Louvre. He took odd jobs retouching photos for rent money, each night made the rounds of his friends' homes to be sure of a dinner. For eight years his only success was a single picture shown at the 1936 Beaux Arts salon, and that brought no whoops from the critics.
Ecce Homo
Modes & Masters. Everything changed after the war. Traveling in Switzerland, he persuaded a Lausanne gallery owner to show 40 of his paintings. Within a few weeks, all but three were sold, and the owner of the gallery bought the leftovers. A friend saw Bedikian's work, promptly bought his entire output for two years. With portrait commissions on the side, Bedikian has been able to consider himself a commercial success ever since. What he wants now is recognition.

No comments:

Post a Comment