ZULEYKA BAZHBEUK-MELIKIAN: THEY SAW AND APPRECIATED ME IN ARMENIA

Noyan Tapan
March 31, 2008

YEREVAN, MARCH 31, NOYAN TAPAN - ARMENIANS TODAY. Frankness,
clarity and intimate emotions prevail in paintings of
Zuleyka Bazhbeuk-Melikian, daughter of famous artist Alexander
Bazhbeuk-Melikian. A personal exhibition of this female painter opened
at the National Picture Gallery of Armenia last week.

77 works created by this Georgia-based painter in various years, from
the 1960s to "Appointment" painted recently, are on display in three
halls of the exhibition. Among these works are still life pictures,
landscapes, portraits and compositions. Armenian colors have given
a unique Armenian quality to Zuleyka's canvases.

This is the first personal exhibition of Zuleyka in Yerevan. "I have
taken part in several group exhibitions in Yerevan but a personal
exhibition is something quite different. All responsibility is on one
painter, and you should be able to organize and present your works
in such a way that everything will be clear and understandable to
visitors." In her words, the impressions were very strong. "Everybody
was so delicate and tender; everybody was so attentive and impressed. I
am quite satisfied with this exhibition because my greatest wish has
been fulfilled: they in Armenia saw and appreciated me as a painter
with an original and distinctive style."

However, Zuleyka has another dream: to hold a personal exhibition
at the Union of Painters of Armenia and to publish a catalogue and
an album in Yerevan. "Of course, it will happen later. After a bit
of work. I want to paint more and to express the best feelings in my
soul - the whole humanity needs such feelings today," Ms Zuleyka said.

She started to paint at the age of 20. In her words, at first she liked
literature, then she grew fond of music but later she started painting
and it was the beginning. "At first I used to work continuously,
10 hours a day.

Father said that while being by his side, I have my own handwriting
and distinctiveness. It is wonderful: I do not copy anyone but I
paint as an individual," Zuleyka recalls.

Paintings of Zuleyka Bazhbeuk-Melikian are kept at state and private
picture galleries in various countries, including Russia, Germany,
Bulgaria, etc.

As a creative personality, she attaches importance to one thing: to
express her inner state in her paintings: "When I fail to do what I
want to, I paint in my soul, then I erase it. However, when this state
is over, the most important thing, which a painter has to convey to
a canvas, remains deep inside - it is a state when motions of your
hand and what you want to say are in harmony with each other. This
is most essential, these are my feelings and colors that complete
each other and appeal to everybody."

In the opinion of Zuleyka, it is important to be a true
artist. Influence is not so essential because the painters, poets
and musicians who have created universal values do not belong to
one nation. They are universal and belong to everybody - people
like Arshil Gorki, Sarian and Bazhbeuk-Melikian. "I am sure that
they cease belonging to a nation, they belong to the world and
humanity. In this respect we should have culture like the one which
France has developed over centuries for non-French artists living in
this country," she said.

"I love both Armenia and Georgia. Both countries are native to me:
in one I was born and grew up - it is all my life, while my roots
and my land are in the other country."

At the conclusion of the interview, the painter said that she has a
great desire to paint the unique, divine snow-covered mountains and
dark clouds of the road from Tbilisi to Yerevan. "I worship Armenia
and its inimitably colored nature."

She wished that there would be peace and quiet, infinite harmony of
soul and nature in Armenia.