Artist’s Statement


My goal is to stimulate positive emotional and mental changes.  I want my art to guide and inspire people to live a better life.  For that reason, my latest series are social commentaries investigating people’s lifestyles, values, and desires.  For me, the choices people make are a never-ending source of fascination—and sometimes outrage.  I want to confront my viewer with these thought-provoking questions:  “Could this be me?” and “Can I change this?”

If my work inspires my viewer to consider, even for a moment, whether they might live their life better, and how, then I feel successful.

I persuade my audience to see themselves in my work because I use anonymous forms in everyday circumstances.  I draw my subjects from life, emphasizing hands, body language, and facial expressions.  I find the variety of human forms endlessly motivating and inspiring.

The purpose of my style is to make people feel the world, which they often miss in the rush of everyday life.  But I avoid naturalistic representation of the world.  Instead, I express the state, emotions, and thoughts of my subject purely through line.  I purposely omit mid-tone details from my images, lest they distract the viewer from my primary message.

Everything in this world has its characteristic line.  To help my viewer feel it deeply, I empathize with the character and mood of my subjects, and emphasize their innate line in my work.

—Srboohie Abajian, 2010


Art is not a matter of painting something to the last detail. It is a matter of expressing the state, emotions, and thoughts of one's subject.

True art expresses life as a whole, and it is more alive and moving than life itself.

Art must express those characteristics and emotional states that are inexpressible in words.

Being an artist means seeing the world in a new way. The artist is not the one who paints well and correctly; the artist is the one who looks at life anew and expresses his own philosophy of life.

A wealth of technique is worthless in itself. Technique must serve one's intended meaning. And meaning must originate from life.

—Srboohie Abajian, 2001