Sculptor Zadik Zadikian - Artweek.la - October 2012

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Armenian born sculptor  -Zadik Zadik has left has left an indelible  mark on the global arts landscape. With  an impressive portfolio spanning some three decades, his  work has  been a focal point of many pivotal international  venues.

Solo shows at the esteemed  Tony Shafrazi  gallery in both New York  and Tehran, and countless others internationally, from Los Angeles to Paris and Israel  serve as testament toe Zadikians  //quality and appeal.

From Italy and Dubai to Los Angeles and New  York and beyond. Zadikian has a range of international collectors and has been profiled in a range of media outlets from to  the Village Voice, New York Post and others.

 Zadik was a prominent fixture  in the New York artscene during the formative eighties  showing with the likes of Keith haring and  Basquiet and managed by Tony Shafrazi. His tormultuous relationship with the then top flight gallerist was widely profiled in the likes of The Village Voice and New York's Post society spreadsheet Page 6 in the 1980s.

Having  attained such success   and reveling in the dynamism  of New York  for most of his adult life,  Zadikian  wasn't content resting on the laurels of his glory days. After a move to LA and taking a sabbatical travelling and raising his family,  Zadik has returned  to his passion, which his next show set for later this year with Maloney art Los Angeles.

Zadikians formal career as a sculptor began in the late sixties when he studied at the Art Academy of Erevan, South Armenia and post graduate courses in Italy and Turkey  From there he worked as an assistant to greats such as Richard Serra in the mid 1970s.

Zadikian's work defies  classification. His sculptural work  is by definition representational and  embodies a leaning towards figurativism, yet he prefers to be known as a formalist.

 During his seventies and eighties era, Zadik developed a fascination with using gold leaf and electroplated bronze and Hydrocal as a medium to coat his sculptures. This work comprised gilded interior installations and minimal stacks of gold-leafed brick. These fetishized objects embraced the mystical powers of gold, recalling Egyptian, Assyrian, Persian and Helenistic cultures.

While some pontificate his  use of  the material is indicative of some bacchanalian obsession with excess and opulence. Zadik is keen to underscore his use of gold leaf (not solid gold), its use is more symbolic rather and indicative of an obsession with opulence or its precious qualities.

Rather than being simply ostentatious, or indulgent, Zadikian uses  it more as  a tool, a metaphor. His use of gold explores metaphysical and symbolic concepts such as alchemy, timelessness  and  universal forces

In turn, Zadik  has likened gold and its application in his art to the supernova phenomenon. Extremely luminous Supernovae cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading over several weeks or months.

"Gold is a timeless material - its not just an immediate trendy thing ----  most art does stem from the economy--  New York has more money essentially

Zadik's current series "Bold Gold," encompasses figurative work inspired by themes of  eroticism and sexuality. Erotic images of buxom thighs, buttocks and breasts recount visions of  traditional fertility symbols or the romantic classicism of African tribal art or  ancient Greece.

The work also triggers visions of  The prehistoric Venus of Willendorf,  while other male oriented pieces touch on the concept of Carl Jung's association with himself, 'the phallus always means the creative mana, the power of healing and fertility'

Linked to this notion of the self and introspection rather than external observation and exploration of the 'other,' Still there is still no strict adherence to such concepts, Zadikian is merely exploring , a precocious realm of  his own.

While the viewer might be ensnared by assimilating themes of lust and greed for the sexualized gold coated figures, Zadikian isn't confined to such perception. He reveals, " this work is a way of freezing his emotions  and conveying a story."

Zadiklian is ever the protagonist, provoking  his audience by exploring sacred cultural and social mores. Of his erotic series he confides, "I am  trying  to create an experiential piece for the viewer. These female figures try to reach the areas where humans are liberated rather than conditioned, possibly stemming from the sexual projection of my being."


Written by Craig Stephens

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