Artist Talk: Tigran Tsitoghdzyan on Self-Isolation and Self-Discovery

Self Isolation by Tigran Tsitoghdzyan

Artist Tigran Tsitoghdzyan, a longtime friend of Fine Art Shippers recently had a personal show at Glass Studios in downtown New York, where he showed his new works from the ongoing “Mirrors” series and the latest project titled “Self-isolation.” We took the opportunity to speak with Tigran about his current work and plans for the near future. 

Artist Talk: Tigran Tsitoghdzyan on Self-Isolation and Self-Discovery

Could you please tell us more about the works that were featured at the exhibition? 

Tigran Tsitoghdzyan: The exhibition, which lasted for two days, featured ten pieces from my “Mirrors” and “Self-isolation” series. The latter is a new creative direction for me, blending elements from my previous works.

The show was part of the NFTNYC international art fair, where I collaborated with the Babilon platform. Their exhibition showcased a combination of physical art, including my own, and digital works by renowned artists. The platform expressed interest in future NFT collaborations with me, and this exhibition marked the first step. I plan to present an NFT collection with them in the near future.

Is it going to be your first NFT experience?

I recently held an exhibition in Dubai that featured my NFTs, which were linked to my physical artworks rather than being purely digital. The physical pieces were sold as a combined package with their accompanying NFTs. This was the first attempt to merge traditional and digital art. But the next collaborative project I just mentioned will feature only NFTs and be entirely digital.

Self Isolation by Tigran Tsitoghdzyan

You did not start experimenting with NFTs until recently. What motivated you to do so now rather than earlier? How do you, as an artist, perceive the new technology?

It took me some time to understand the world of NFTs. Initially, many creators with little connection to art started selling NFTs, which resulted in a loss of value and disappointment. But I believe NFTs will become a long-term art form as more established artists begin working in the digital field. As an artist, I am interested in various types of self-expression, including sculpture, painting, graphics, and digital art, and I am always open to exploring new mediums. It’s intriguing to see that more people become interested in collecting digital art and prefer it over traditional art. I would love to explore the world of NFTs further and see how it evolves.

Could you give us more details about the “Self-Isolation” series? 

I began working on this series during the COVID-19 outbreak, as I observed people in New York who were isolated due to the pandemic. Although we could see each other through the windows, we remained strangers to one another in these high-rises. Many people felt depressed and lost. To capture this experience, I painted people in motion on large canvases that were more than two meters in size. While my previous portraits were static, I wanted to add movement to this series. I drew the figures during the day, depicting their movements in limited space, to show how people were struggling with isolation and the complicated emotions that came with it. Some were dealing with depression and went through a process of self-discovery, finding that they were different from what they had always believed about themselves.  It was a fascinating experience for me, and I’m happy to know that it was therapeutic for some of my models. 

Looking back at the past lockdown and self-isolation, how do you think it has transformed New York City?

Many left the city, and new people came in their place. I think the city had a more creative atmosphere in the past. It has now become difficult for many creative individuals to make a living here, particularly in Manhattan, as it has become very expensive. Although I may be biased, based on my observations of friends and people around me, this is how I feel.

Mirrors by Tigran Tsitoghdzyan

How long have you been living in New York?

Almost fifteen years.

Did you move to New York City primarily for your artistic career or were you drawn to the city for its energy?

It was a combination of both. I met my future wife here, but ultimately, I came to New York to test my abilities. As an art hub, New York is the place to be if you want to pursue an artistic career. However, it’s also a tough place where you can rise to the top or fade away into obscurity.

After fifteen years, do you consider yourself a New Yorker?

Yes, absolutely. New York is a city where you can immediately feel like a New Yorker once you decide to make it your home. Unlike in Europe or other countries where you may always be looked at as a foreigner, in New York, everyone is a foreigner. When I initially arrived, I had only intended to stay for a week, but eventually, I stayed for good. When someone asked me where I was from, I replied, “I live in Switzerland, but I’ve decided to stay here.” They exclaimed, “What are you talking about? You’re already a New Yorker!” From that day on, I have considered myself a New Yorker.

Photo courtesy of Tigran Tsitoghdzyan