Armen Agop the Contemporary Artist
He is an Egyptian–Armenian contemporary artist and sculptor, born to Armenian parents living in Cairo, Egypt, where he was influenced daily by the two ancient cultures. The two heritages created in him a continuous reevaluation of values, which led him to look for the essence at the core of things. His search resulted in realizing the importance of both the physical and the spiritual in his work.
Agop was drawn to the endurance of historical art and artifacts, affected by the dry landscape of Egypt, saying, "It was in the desert, where there seems to be nothing, that’s where I learned to see". At thirteen he was a student of Simon Shahrigian. Agop finished the Faculty of the Fine Arts at Helwan University in Cairo. After graduating, he received an assistant researcher scholarship.
Agop is a minimalistic artist following an ascetic approach to abstract sculpture, mainly using black granite and basalt. His work has also been described as "Contrasting Art" where the contemporary and the ancient meet; his artistic presence springs from his cross-cultural philosophy. His sculptures can be staggering, often appearing as futuristic beings or UFOs, and at the same time, remind one of the sagacity of ancient Egyptian art in its powerful lines and simple forms.
"The ancient and the contemporary may seem very different, but I think the essentials are the same", he said in Art Plural: Voices of Contemporary Art (2014).
Through his meditative practice in his work, he developed a personal relation with matter and time, resulting in works that describe accurately, mysterious entities.
In 2000, Agop was awarded the Prix de Rome, the State Prize of Artistic Creativity in Egypt. In 2013, he was awarded the Premio Sulmona, Rassegna Internazionale D’Arte Contemporanea, Presidential Medal of the Italian Republic.
His works are represented in the Egyptian Modern Art Museum, Egypt, Villa Empain/Boghossian Foundation in Belgium, Giardino di Piazza Stazione in Barge, Italy, and Coral Springs Museum of Art in Florida, USA.