Interview: Larisa Safaryan

Interview: Larissa Safaryan, Dot Red

Where are you from?

I was born in Armenia.

How would you describe yourself as an artist? Would you describe yourself as an Armenian artist?

I wouldn’t say neither Armenian or nor American because this is something new. There is no one doing this in here, neither in Armenia. I’m the first one working in this style.

We are here with Larisa Safaryan, and she is an artist from Armenia who works mixed media pieces using primarily these eggshells. I really, really have not seen eggshells used in this context and in a placement, in a variety, in a real sensitive way in which you're using it. So can you walk me through why did you even use eggshells to begin with?

Yeah, that’s a question I think that everyone asks, how I came up with this idea. I used to paint. I was using oil paints and other acrylic, but the one day my father, we were having breakfast like usual, we were having eggs. And he said, “Why don’t you use this?” And I was little at that time, “Why don’t you use eggshells to make something?” So I tried and I liked that material so much that I continued and developed so I’m here now.

Wow. So this has been almost a lifelong use of eggshells just because it really brings a lot of history from family.

Oh, yes, definitely. And I would say all my family is involved in this. My mom bakes brilliant cakes.

Oh, wow.

Yeah, and I use the shells to make art. So yeah, everyone’s involved.

Everyone's involved. It's nothing better to have a family of supportive artistry using different materials to create. So excellent.

Yeah, thanks.

This is a really interesting piece. Walk me through what this really means to you when you create these pieces, specifically this one.

Egg itself is so symbolic. Many artists have used it in their paintings, in their sculptures. I find meaning in my own meaning. I try to express my thoughts using this medium. For example, this piece is called Two Drops in the Ocean. People in a sense, we are in an ocean, right? You can compare the eggs to people. This two maybe found each other in the ocean, and the light or a connection, they are unique. They are part of the ocean but also separate from the whole.

So you bring a lot of nature and natural elements, not just in the physical but also in sort of the contextual variety of your work, which is really amazing. You've got such a great variety of pieces. I want to look at one piece here in the back which is this black and white keys. Can you talk about this work right here?

Yeah. The title of this piece is Awakening. You see some eggs are black. They are not awakened yet. And there are some who saw the light and they are awakening from that deep sleep and towards the light.

So we got some stragglers here, we got some stragglers.

Yes, yeah. And also, everyone will be awakened eventually.

And what is that awakened? Is it important that they're all awakened? What if they weren't? What if they stayed that way? How would you feel about that?

It’s fine. Everyone is different. We live different lives and we reach to each person as long as they are happy, they can be asleep as long as they’re happy. But of course, when people awaken from that sleep and see the world in a different way, they unite more, they help each other more. And I think if everyone isn’t awakened, as a human, we can reach more goals, more heights together than separately.

Yeah, that's a great point. In some ways we are better together, how we collaborate, how we use each other's resources to build further, and how each of these pieces are developed almost have a mimicking element between each other. So it's really sort of a full formation, even when you have these other smaller elements that are sparse in between.

Yeah. We’re all humans, right, and we are all in one picture. We live in this world and we can compare the world to this canvas.

I want to add something very interesting about my works. Before the pandemic, I was thinking because I have eggs, right, I use egg shells, and I had many and I can’t use them all unfortunately. I decided to make omelets and give it to homeless people. I want to say that I was really so happy that I eventually did it, because whatever I create is for people as well. I want them when they look to feel happier, elevated. Also when I made those omelets with our friends, we went to the Venice Beach and gave to the homeless, and I saw they became part of what I created and it was wonderful feeling. I hope this COVID will end and I’ll continue doing it again.

Yeah, yeah, you just have a lot of omelets, a lot more omelets to be sharing.

Interview: Larissa Safaryan, Dot Red
Interview: Larissa Safaryan, Dot Red
Interview: Larissa Safaryan, Dot Red

That's fantastic. But that's such a great use of the materials, I mean, and artistry is really about resources and how you divvy up and use those resources for purpose in lots of ways. So you're really actually giving so much use to it?

Yeah. Second life. If I didn’t use the eggshells would be wasted, right? But now I made something nice and people like it and it makes me happy.

Yeah. People love it. I mean, you're here at the show, right? I mean, how could you have gotten some representation without people actually enjoying you? So congrats to you.

Thank you so much.

When there's more artists that have great stories, great backgrounds, who are really invested in their work here at the LA Art Show, find them and really go beyond just the work, because a lot of these pieces really have a lot more depth just that meets the eye. And so thank you again for Larisa for sharing. Where can they find you?

You can find me on social media, of course, in Pinterest. I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and I have a website so it’s not difficult to find me.