Provocative, eccentric, and playful- always controversial, never indifferent. This is how I would describe the work of Yerevan born artist, Samvel “Saga” Saghatelian.
“Enter Through The Smoke Shop” marks HAYP Pop Up Gallery’s fifth exhibition, our last of 2015 (more to come next year), and our first solo artist show.
The exhibit features Sam Saga’s graphic work from a series called “Political and Personal Protest Signs”. Two examples were exhibited at HAYP’s Abovyan St. location back in April at the collective exhibit, “ANKAPital”. The full series was exhibited at the Garboushian Gallery in Beverly hills in May, and received outstanding acclaim by the press. Now, for the first time in Armenia, Samvel’s protest signs, along with several new editions, will be on view at HAYP Pop Up Gallery.
The signs take a playful formalistic approach to the contrasting forms of Latin and Armenian letters. They are graphically minimalistic and conceptually complex. Their message is bold: at times erotic and other times political. Samvel aims to provoke.
The exhibit will take place in the backroom of Misty Fumes, Yerevan’s very trendy (and very first) electronic cigarette shop. The space is intimate, discrete, and geared towards mature audiences, an appropriate environment for a suggestive exhibit. Beautifully designed by French owner Christophe Maury, this hipster shop has the urban feel that suits the polemic world of Sam Saga, whose “protests” challenge the viewer’s comfort zone more than anything else.
Anna K. Gargarian, HAYP Pop Up Gallery, Curator & Creative Director.