‘De Grenzen Voorbij/ Beyond Borders, Krikor Momdjian’s ikonen van passie/icons of passion’ (1996)
In works like La Tragédie de l’homme and Journal quotidien, with their references to vulnerable existence and earthly suffering on the one hand and the spiritual and eternal on the other, all essential aspects of Momdjian’s work have been combined. Here the artist seems to have reconciled his longing for Paradise with the harsh reality of daily life. Despite the ever present tragic opposites his work always holds the promise of happiness, constantly the thought is present, that the singularity of the eternal is hidden behind this double entity.
Momdjian tells his story in different ways. His figurative language is rather varied and fully serving his subject matter. Compared to this an artistic development of his painting seems to him of less importance. Figurative and completely abstract images can exist beside each other. At one moment, with an explosive brush technique he now calls enormously dynamic images to mind, and at the next, he comes to a standstill in peaceful, modest poetry.
Man, animal and nature are drawn in suggestive shapes. Everything in the work leaves room to assume, to feel. Neither the spiritual side of existence nor the world of the dream can be described literally. Their secrets are hidden somewhere deep in the human soul and it is only through intuition and feeling that some of them are brought to the surface. Momdjian’s art speaks through intuition. He opens doors which cannot be opened by the language of reason, he speaks in images to which the subconscious is susceptible: as dreams reveal themselves to us in symbols, he tries, in a symbolic way, to reveal something of his innermost feelings and experiences. In this context a pronouncement by Berdjajew is revealing: “The meaning, the importance and the value of life are determined by the mystery behind it, by an endlessness which cannot be rationalized, but expressed only in myths and symbols.”
Momdjian tells the story of humanity, which experiences the vulnerability of its existence in as world full of opposites and begins the search for original happiness.
“ Up to the stage of Paradise my life was governed by the question of my identity. In the Netherlands I have always had three identities. The Armenian and the Lebanese were given me as a child, whereas I had to acquire the Dutch identity. This creates conflicts. Those three identities are reflected in the triangle, which stands for vitality. I am no longer looking for my identity, but for the fourth person in myself: my inner being. I used to be a dreamer, my whole life was concerned with my fantasy about Paradise. Now I consider myself to be a realist and I am focused more on life in society.”
When one surveys Krikor Momdjian’s work, one feels oneself drawn into the song of the universe, a song of which the atmosphere calls up memories, but of which the words and tune eludes us. Momdjian’s art is a joy to experience. It occurs in a land of myth and dream and rises up above the world of visible reality to a reality in which Beauty and Truth govern. It allows the primeval and almost forgotten tune to sound again.
Art is never timeless, but it is able to bring us in contact with the eternal. It causes an interaction between us and the archetypes within our soul. Momdjian’s art refers to the eternal. This means that it carries in it a suggestion of a deeper, unidentifiable reality hidden behind what we can see. Beauty and Truth are united here.
There are many realities, but only one truth, you can portray realities, you can only approach truth, repeatedly and ever differently. Only in images. Momdjian’s art is essentially looking for that truth.
From the book ‘De Grenzen Voorbij/ Beyond Borders, Krikor Momdjian’s ikonen van passie/icons of passion’ Jacqueline Kleisen. (1996)