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Arthur K. is a contemporary Lebanese-Armenian self-made painter. Born in 1945, he is a doctor by profession, as well as a poet and an essayist.Arthur K
 
In addition to working in multiple fields, in the last 20 years of his artistic career Arthur K. has gone by many names: Arthur, Nicolian, Nakoul and more recently Arthur K., which stands for Harout Kapriel Nicolian.
 
His works combine historical themes with complex psychological subjects reflecting symbols of Phoenician, Sumerian, Mati and Urartu (Assyrian) art.
 
ArthurK adopts spiritual themes in painting cultural symbols with a personal touch that expresses a kind of abstraction of our feelings towards the history of mankind.
The effective use of colors is the main personal character in his paintings; dark tones next to striking yellow-orange and blue plus crimson-red are the dominant intonation colors in his paintings.
 
In his numerous exhibitions in Europe, Middle-East, Asia and North America, the artist employs acrylic and print on canvas to form a series of collages each carrying a different assemblage of script, old photos, newspaper and magazine cutouts.
 
“I employ [the] letters of the Armenian alphabet to express my message,” Arthur K. says. “Due to the Genocide of Armenians there is something of human rights in our alphabet, [that is] if there is human rights.”
The dominant colors are black red, blue and gold. Classical images stand juxtaposed with modern icons of famous and familiar faces such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Giorgio de Chirico, Freud, Parajanov, and Brecht. Violent and romantic images harmonize into an ascetically pleasing bricolage whose intertextuality is obscure. This disturbs the observer trying to weave the disparate parts into a cohesive narrative that seems hauntingly absent. One canvas has the late Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti placed centrally, arms outstretched. “Pavarotti is a pillar of human rights because he is happy,” he explained with a total sincerity that rendered all irony and sarcasm obsolete.
 
His Intermingled with and interrupting these series of collages are his canvases entitled “Golden Houses,” painted with mixed media on canvas, as well as a number of naive paintings of Phoenician icons. “Golden Houses” depict old, red roofed Lebanese houses, checkered with brown deterioration and golden wisps that rise like smoke or thin branches into blossoming flames of golds, reds and blues. The windows are black and hollowed and the houses stand crowded together. The houses are about memory.
 
Arthur K. has exhibited his works internationally through Noah’s Ark Art Gallery in Beirut, New York, Sao Paulo, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Montréal, Toronto, 12th International Art Exhibition in Beijing, China and recently in Dubai.
He says his greatest influence is the philosophy of the author Zekharia Sitchin, who wrote about the birth of civilization in the areas where the people of Sumer, Mari, Urartu and Phoenicia lived, and about a missing 12th planet in the sky. Sitchin was an Azerbaijani-born American author (1920-2010), whose books propose an explanation for human origins involving ancient astronauts. Sitchin attributes the creation of ancient Sumerian culture to the Anunnaki, which he postulates was a race of extraterrestrials from a planet beyond Neptune called Nibiru. He believed this hypothetical planet of Nibiru to be in an elongated, elliptical orbit in the Earth’s own solar system, asserting that Sumerian mythology reflects this view.
 
Arthur K.’s early works depict rocket-esque structures with the concept of Mesopotamian, Phoenician and Egyptian figurines. “If you look at Baalbek, the Pyramids and other ancient temples you can see how much more evolved they were. Even ... in England today you don’t know how Stonehenge was built.”
The artist’s work is a pastiche of styles from three different epochs: naive icons, expressionism and postmodernist bricolage. The bricolage collages, by their very nature, present a blank parody of their own self-reflexivity and textual references and render the political message of human rights null and void.
 
Rather than undermine the artist’s political views, however, this serves to emphasize his view of our current degradation, juxtaposed with the more idealized epochs of our lost heritage.

 

"Painting for me is a natural inspiration born from a profound feeling towards our ancestors and patrimony.

National enthusiasm is an expression of feeling and awareness of our heritage and rich history.

Some of my exhibitions were dedicated to the beauty and debt of Phoenician era."
- Arthur K -