Sahak Sahakyan: the master who opened up new horizons for Armenian folk art
Sahak Sahakyan (1929-2010), an artist of Armenian descent, is widely regarded as one of the most celebrated figures of his time. Born in Stepanavan in 1929, Sahakyan hails from a family originally from Mush, Western Armenia. His great-grandfather was known for his exceptional talent as an artist, potter, and stone engraver.
Throughout his illustrious career, Sahakyan’s works have been showcased in numerous exhibitions in the Armenian Republic during the Soviet era, the Soviet Union, and international exhibitions. His artistry has earned him numerous accolades in the form of gold, silver, and bronze medals, diplomas, and awards. Sahakyan was known for his versatility, having worked with several forms such as sculpture, painting, drawing, and applied and decorative arts. Furthermore, his artistic expression spanned numerous media such as clay, wood, cloth, stone, metal, oils, tempera, crayon, and chamotte.
Sahakyan’s art is widely celebrated for its humanity. The artist’s nationalistic views, boundless love for his homeland and people, civic pathos, active perception of time, sense of humor, and duality are fundamental to the creation of his meaningful and vividly expressed images. Sahakyan’s art vehemently criticizes wars, the shadowy sides of life, indifference, rudeness, evil, and stupidity while praising heroism, wisdom, honesty, and purity of the soul.
Sahak Sahakyan’s contributions to the artistry of Armenian artistic dolls/art dolls are significant, as he is considered one of the founders of the Armenian art doll crafts. The artist was inspired to create dolls by his passion for traditional Armenian national costumes. Using wooden logs and vegetable paints, Sahakyan created dolls that are rare and highly prized examples of Armenian folk art.