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Raffi Tokatlian, who was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1957, was raised in a family of artists. Tokatlian grew up with his grandfather’s stories of the Armenian genocide of 1915 and his escape from Armenia, and they formed the emotional core of his sculptural work.
Tokatlian was attracted to the art of the Italian Renaissance and he describes his style as “Surrealmythoclassical”, indicating the personal amalgam formed by all of his influences.
His travels for these projects have constantly brought him into touch with art, both ancient and contemporary, that has affected his work.
Originally an interior designer, he found himself especially excited by sculpture, and learned a range of techniques and since 2000 he began sculpting and created more than 30 bronze sculptures in his studio in Beirut, and he has exhibited his work in New York Tokatlian.
His sculptures combine tragic aspects of his family’s history, with a strong feeling for the existential challenges and spiritual yearnings of humanity.
In his gallery there’s a permanent exhibition of surreal bronze sculptures themed humanity that shake you up, with the intent on awakening you to see something both strange and real. Tokatlian visions, dream-like images, carry within them suffering and wisdom, the fantastic and the real, all made manifest in human form.
His sculptures inhabit a magical place in which form and emotion mix. This gives his art its imaginative meaningfulness.