- Michael Aram pays tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide
"We share our histories so that we might each learn from them for a future of peace, truth, and tolerance. I created a public sculpture called “Migrations” as a way to honor a painful chapter in history, while hoping that new generations will be able to move beyond the long shadow of Genocide. Through the process of making the piece, I grappled with ways to talk about our ancestors journey with my children, in a new way. Telling them that we are here, now, today - as products of our ancestors struggle and as a living testimony of their will to survive."
Michael, The Artist.
Michael Aram is an award-winning Armenian American artist who has dedicated his career to craft-based design. Inspired by a trip to India at age 25, he established a second home and studio there, where he continues to draw creative inspiration today.
Trained as a painter, sculptor, and art historian, Michael has neatly applied his diverse background to the decorative arts. Lyrical and often witty, his work encompasses a wide range of media and reveals a rich and variant source of inspiration – nature, mythology, narrative storytelling, and purified form. Michael’s work is also a celebration of craft and age-old hand working traditions. It is the enduring fusion of these ideals – originality, narrative, and craftsmanship – that has become the hallmark of this gifted artist.
The “Faith” sculpture takes its inspiration from the Khor Virap monastery which is the symbolic birthplace of Christianity in Armenia. It was at Khor Virap (Armenian for “deep dungeon”) where the man who would become Saint Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned in a pit for 14 years before he helped turn Armenia into the first Christian nation.
“I first visited Khor Virap as a teenager over 40 years ago. The feeling I got while climbing through a small hole and descending into the dungeon where St. Gregory was thrown to die is something that I will never forget."
Motif & Inspiration
Michael is highly inspired by his surroundings and often makes sculptures of objects that might otherwise be overlooked in the everyday. Nature is his biggest muse, as is the handmade process. His work combines the imperfections innate in the handmade process with the perfectly imperfect beauty of nature to create objects that reflect humanity. Many of his pieces are ingrained with a rich storyline, inherent symbolism, and deep-rooted meaning. Sometimes his work is simply an exploration and celebration of the handmade process.
"There is so much power in the story of Noah's Ark resting on Mount Ararat in historic Armenia. It has always been a potent representation of my own Armenian heritage. I am also very moved by the narrative of Noah's Ark and the survival of man and animal after the great flood is a powerful story. Even though it is a well-known old testament reference, all great monotheistic religions accept the ark as a symbol of mankind's salvation. I wanted to represent it for everyone!"
Michael shares his story and pays tribute to the Armenian Genocide of 1915 with the unveiling of "Migrations." Commissioned as a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Genocide, "Migrations," is prominently on display outside the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America on the corner of 34th Street and 2nd Avenue in New York