30sec film artists Vol.8 – Iskuhi Avagyan

“Thin, translucent layers of oil paint”

Iskuhi Avagyan was born in Armenia, and grew up in Toronto, where she earned her BFA from OCAD University in 2014. In her third year of studies, she participated in the Florence Off-Campus Studies Program with OCAD University in Florence, Italy. In 2015, Avagyan was featured as an Untapped Emerging Artist at the Artist Project in Toronto. That same year, she completed an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, Italy. Her most recent body of work features figures twisted into the impossible angles of an asana, realized in thin, translucent layers of oil paint on mylar, and interposed with flat, inorganic geometric forms. Her work has been exhibited in a number of group shows in Canada, USA, and Europe, and is held in private collections in Canada, USA, Europe, and New Zealand.

Iskuhi Avagyan – 30sec film artists Q&A

What’s your favorite thing to do when you are alone?


How do you usually get inspired again after working on a big project/painting?

I try to give myself a bit of time to decompress after working on a big project, and when I'm not sure how to start again, I will usually spend time looking at reference photos I've collected, or going to other gallery shows, things like that.

Do you collect things?

I collect postcards! And I am just starting to build a small art collection 🙂

What's the last great book you read?

The Alchemist, by Paolo Coehlo

What super power do you want to have?

I wish I could apparate the way they do on Harry Potter.

What’s your craziest dream?

I think I was being chased around by a pizza.

What do you fear the most?

I'm afraid of lots of things, but I guess I'm most afraid of not doing something just because I'm afraid. (Unless it is genuinely very dangerous).

Do you have a motto or creed that as an artist you live by?

This one is from "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," but I think it applies well: "Everything will be alright in the end, and if it's not yet alright, it's not yet the end."

How do you come up with ideas?

I find that I like to come up with ideas while looking at photos; either by browsing old archives, or the internet, etc. Then I let my mind sort of stew over what I've seen, and eventually an idea will come. Sometimes they pop up when I'm trying not to think of anything during yoga.

What project/art are you hoping to create but haven’t got chance to do yet?

I would love to do some sort of public art installation someday.

Is there a childhood experience that has helped shape the kind of work you do today?

Probably, but none that I recall.

Artist’s bookshelf

The Alchemist
The Alchemist

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