Michael Mararian

Michael Mararian

United States 1965



Michael Mararian
Michael Mararian
United States
April 18, 2016
Behind the pseudonym of Lor Dethal lies Nemanja Torlak, a writer for Widewalls intrigued and moved by diversity in art and in the lives of those who create it. It is often the unexpected that come forth and surprise us, and art is a world that allows it and makes it possible. David beats the Goliath daily, and writing about it is a pleasure.

Having opposing forces within an art piece coexist can truly charge it with energy and allure. Seeing something that isn’t expected out of the given subject can both shock and intrigue the viewer, leaving a lasting impression. Doing exactly that, the American artist Michael Mararian explores the concept of contradiction in his practice widely using images of children as his subjects in order to demonstrate the power of its effect. Depicting children in situations anything but innocent, his works automatically get a humorous, even cute side to it, bringing contradictions in his practice to a whole new level.

Michael Mararian 2009 home shows prints 2014
Left: Michael Mararian – Horrible Gifts for Children – A Beaujolais Nouveau / Right: Michael Mararian – Apiphobia – Fear of Bees

The Last Bastion of Innocence

At the center of Michael Mararian’s work lies contradiction, an idea that best portrays both the humor and tragedy that is present within the contemporary society. Making such a comparison in his paintings, Mararian draws the opposing feelings out of the viewer and captures the attention, and the ones to best portray the core of this notion are the children. Standing as the last bastion of innocence, a child’s figure is the last place you’d expect to find melancholy and cruelty in, yet it’s exactly what the artist does. Occasionally using photos of real children, Mararian explores social and psychological issues through a vessel of purity, ultimately letting his viewers decide whether the act is humorous or terrifying.

Mararian explores social and psychological issues through a vessel of purity

Michael Mararian 2009 home shows prints 2014 contact little
Left: Michael Mararian – Little Man of Steele / Right: Michael Mararian – Candy Wall

The Power of Contradiction

Creating energy out of the very conflict of opposing ideas in his work, Mararian’s pieces will all but leave you indifferent, showing the power of contradiction in his practice. Used for more than providing the viewer with a shocking experience, the notion brings together the elements of humor and tragedy that exist within the society as such, bringing forth a mix of feelings and reactions. Inspired by his wife and the pet cats they own, Michael Mararian intends to keep “surfing the wave” of contradiction, seeing just how far it can take him.

The artist is represented by Corey Helford Gallery.

Michael Mararian lives and works in New York.

Featured image: Michael Mararian. All photos credit the artist.
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2014 Kinder Kavalcade Hallwalls Contemporary Art CenterSolo
2014 The Barge Project The Burchfield Penny Art Center, Buffalo NYGroup
2013 Recent Projects The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2013 Sope Art Fair MiamiGroup
2012 Sope Art Fair New YorkGroup
2011 Sope Art Fair MiamiGroup
2011Corey Helford Gallery 5th Anniversary The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2011 Unknown Last Rites Gallery, New York Group
2010 Youth Parade The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2010 SCOPE MIAMI Corey Helford GalleryGroup
2010 Unknown Bristol's City Museum & Art Gallery in Bristol, EnglandGroup
2009 Michael Mararian The Antonia Von Fraunberg Art Gallery, Dusseldorf, GermanySolo
2008 Michael Mararian McCaig-Welles Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2008 Phobias, Foibles & Fiends The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2008 DEEP POP Kenneth Chapman Gallery, Iona College, New Rochelle, NYGroup
2007 Little Unfortunates The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2007 Bridge Art Fair Miami, FLGroup
2007 The War Show The Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2007 Sweet Calaveras Yves Laroche Gallerie D'Art, Montreal, CanadaGroup
2007 UntitledLoveProject#4 ISM Quarterly and Thinkspace, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2006 Group Exhibition Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2006 Living Dead Dolls Art Show New York, NYGroup
2006 Picks of the Harvest Thinkspace Gallery, Santa Monica, Los AngelesGroup
2005 The Dirty Show Expo Detroit, MIGroup
2005 See You In Hell MF Gallery, New York, NYGroup