Narek Barseghyan: The Leather Show

May 12 – 22, 2018
Mergelian Institute
Central Building, 7th Floor
3, Hakob Hakobyan Street, Yerevan

A solo show of art by Narek Barseghyan. A fashion workshop and performance with designers Narek Jhangiryan, Tatev Khachatryan, and Sarko Meené; styling by Anais Paws; co-curated by Anna Gargarian and Hasmik Badoyan.

The Exhibit

This May, 2018 HAYP Pop Up Gallery present’s “Narek Barseghyan: The Leather Show”, a solo exhibit of paintings by emerging Yerevan-based artist, Narek Barseghyan.

Narek’s inspiration comes from 90s pop culture – its fashion, energy and rebellious attitude. Although still a young child in Yerevan at the time, Narek inherited the collective memory of struggle, hardship, and trauma associated with 90s Armenia that is romanticised by today’s urban youth. Narek juxtaposes this intense period, exemplified via skeletal protagonists, to the modern apathy of post-soviet millennials. Stream-of-consciousness text covers his canvases in a mixture of Armenian, Russian and English language, highlighting the street lingo and cliché phrases heard in Yerevan streets today.

The leather jacket – a key element of the exhibited works – is painted with Narek’s classically trained hand in a hyper realistic manner that pops from a flat, perspective-less colourfield backdrop. Glitter, vivid colours, and self-absorbed nonsense phrases obscure this 90s symbol of masculinity infusing his works with comic irony. The title of the exhibit, “The Leather Show”, underlines the fetishistic culture around fashion, objects of desire and social status. Narek’s leathered-out figures recall hollywood “rebels without a cause” and influential pop icons, all while honing in on a uniquely local attitude of Yerevan Ռաբիս (“rah-beez”) street culture; pleathered 90s thugs with a dreamy millennial pink-scape twist. Narek layers symbols and references that contrast and complement – where old meets new, high meets low – that while romanticising of 90s culture, is distinctly millennial in doing so.

  • Check out HAYP Assistant Curator, Hasmik Badoyan’s interview with the artist here.
  • Check out our recent post for practical info about the Armenia Art Fair here.

Exhibition Photos:

Fashion Performance:

Following an intensive workshop with designers Narek Jhangiryan, Tatev Khachatryan, and Sarko Meené in collaboration with artist Narek Barseghyan and under the leadership of performance curator Hasmik Badoyan and fashion consultant Anais Paws, several unique looks shaped the Leather Show Collection. Seven of these looks were transformed into video portraits (see below) under the creative direction of photographer and videographer Daniel Ghazaryan. All of the looks were presented during a fashion performance which premiered at the opening of The Leather Show on May 12, 2018 in the context of the Armenia Art Fair. A panel discussion with the designers, artist, and project curators followed on May 20, 2018.

Event Photos:

Video Portraits:

Looks by designers Narek Jhangiryan, Tatev Khachatryan, and Sarko Meené.
Videography & Creative Direction by Daniel Ghazaryan.


Inspired by Narek’s works and sources of inspiration, from April 19 – 29, a workshop lead by Hasmik Badoyan, with consultancies by Anais Paws will bring together designers, the artist, and performers for an immersive creative collaboration. The works will be featured during the exhibition’s opening event on Saturday, May 12 , as a Fashion Performance under Anais’ creative direction, and curated by Hasmik Badoyan. High-low fashion will be an essential element to the project, conveying 90s Armenia’s scarcity and culture of resourcefulness through a palpable millennial image-language.

Narek Jhangiryan, The Leather Show Collection
Tatev Khachatryan, The Leather Show Collection
Sarko Meené, The Leather Show Collection
with the participation of artist Narek Barseghyan

Project Coordinators:
Hasmik Badoyan, Workshop Leader & Performance Curator
Anais Paws, Creative Director & Fashion Consultant

Panel Discussion:

Sponsors & Partners:

This project is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Special thank you also to ATEX Fashion Center for supporting this project by generously hosting our workshop in their space. Acknowledgements also to the Armenia Art Fair for promoting the project in the framework of the Armenia Art Fair 2018 edition.

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