He depicts scenes in smoke created with oil on canvas, and although –
especially in light of recent, tragic events – smoke isn’t generally seen as
something positive, Mher looks to find beauty in it as an art form, Metro reports.
Although he is obsessed with the
stuff, ironically, the artist has never tried smoking as he’s always been aware
of its health risks.
‘When I was very young, one of my
favorite commercials was the Marlboro commercial, where you saw this strong
cowboys riding the horse in the beautiful nature and you wish you were one of
them,’ said Khachatryan.
‘But the reality of the beautiful
commercial was not very beautiful. Wayne McLaren, who once portrayed the
“Marlboro Man” died after a long battle with lung cancer.
‘Some of his last words were: “Take
care of the children. Tobacco will kill you, and I am living proof of it”.’
Khachatryan was asked to show his
work at the World No Tobacco Day in May this year.
The artist first became interested in
art at just five years old, and began drawing soon after.
He later began painting when he
discovered his uncle’s paintings.
After being self-taught for years, he
attended the Hakob Kojoyan art school in Yerevan in Armenia, and then
the Art college of Panos Terlemezyan, before upping sticks and heading for
the bright lights of the USA.
He started using smoke in his
paintings because: ‘it reminds us of our own life, how it can just start and finish
and we have no control over it’.
His next exhibition will be in
Michigan, USA, at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum Grand Rapids, in
September, and it will depict scenes from 9/11.
The exhibition will be dedicated to
the victims of the 2001 terrorist attack.