R.A.'Avak' Hayrapetian (also known as Arthur) (1926-2008)
Signed 'R. A. Hayrapetian, Studio Démon, Tehran' (lower right)
Graphite and watercolour with bodycolour on paper
29 cm x 19.4 cm
Private collection Oxfordshire, U.K. (bought in Tehran in 1950)
An amusing image depicting two shabbily dressed sherbet vendors (possibly a father and son) conversing in the street, whilst carrying trays of their wares on their heads.
The Armenian-Iranian R.A.'Avak' Hayrapetian (also known as Arthur) was born in Hamadan, Tabriz in 1926. He moved to Tehran in 1940 and started formally studying art at the age of 15. For ten years he was a pupil of the Armenian-Iranian painter-poet Margar Garabekyan (1901-1976). Around the age of 25 he travelled to Europe for further study. He was one of the founders of 'Studio Démon' (synonymous with 'Studio Hayrapetian'), a small atelier supporting artists (a number of whom were of Armenian descent) through the production of light-hearted images of Iranian characters which were retailed as souvenirs. Other artists associated with 'Studio Démon' include Sirak Melkonian (an image by whom is also available).
Hayrapetian emigrated to America in 1985 and died at Los Angeles, California in 2008. A painting by him representing the migration of the Bakhtiari tribe is held by the Museum of Armenia in Yerevan, Armenia.
The work here dates to the Studio Démon phase of his career. A number of similar paintings were included in the exhibition "Iranian Armenian Watercolor Painters", held at the Shirin Art Gallery, Tehran in December 2017.
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