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I met Rudolf Khachatryan – one of the best painters of our times during his last visit to Armenia. When I asked an official of the Ministry of Culture to arrange our meeting, he said that the painter was going to have limited contacts and that he would have an interview only with the correspondent of “Izvestia”. However, I hurried to Armenia-Marriott hotel where Khachatryan was staying. Learning that I was a journalist and I wanted to see the painter, the door-keeper accompanied me to his room without making any inquiries. The willingness of the door-keeper seemed strange to me.

-Here’s the journalist you were waiting for,- said the door-keeper. Khachatryan hesitated for a moment and then he said: “But I thought I should expect a man journalist,- he said irresolutely, – Was it you who spoke on the telephone? Are you the correspondent of Izvestia?”

-No, but I….. I am asking for an interview.

-I am very sorry, but the correspondent of Izvestia will be here in a few minutes. We’ve made an arrangement. Then I will have a meeting with the preident. I really don’t have ……. I can’t.

– I am from the newspaper of the Armenian Army and I am asking for an interview for the soldier who keeps our border.
Rudolf Khachatryan seemed to be taken aback. He was silent for a moment, then he said firmly:

-I can’t say No to the Soldier. Let the correspondent of Izvestia wait for me, I’ll explain him that it concerns to the Army; he’ll understand.

Years have passed. The great painter is no more with us, but when hearing his name a warm feeling palpitates in my soul along with pride, and it seems that I hear again the master’s voice: “I can’t say No to the Army”.

-It has been a long time since your last visit to Armenia. Has much changed in your motherland?

-There are more smiles and light.

-Your exhibition, despite its vanguard essence and difficult perception, had an exceptional success.

-The admirers of my art believe me. They are inclined not to reject but to perceive.

-Do you consider yourself a follower of any art school?

-I come from different sources, and I was born on the base of the culture created before that. I descend from Picasso, Arp, Gargalo and I am continued. And as Picasso and Bark have brought cubism, Breton – surrealism and Kochar – painting in space, I have created mine – the polysized object. It’s a new mythological thinking, 21st century art.

-You are an Armenian painter. Has your art preserved its national source?

-Of course, I’m independent of my will. The national is a way of thinking, it’s a personal feeling and original smoothness of proportionality The national is manifested not in the illustrative approach, but n the smoothness of formulas.

-During one of your conversations you said that you have reached a haven and completed your mission of a painter.

-I’ve created “the Formula of the Man” which develops as the nature itself. And it constantly changes in the process of that motion. My art is synthetic; it’s an architectural obelisk which includes sculpture, painting and graphic arts. Constantly losing my identity I find and ascertain it.

-You’ve had numerous exhibitions. Which one do you think most highly of?

-I’ve been exhibited by great painters in many authoritative halls. On the occasion of my 60th birthday I was also exhibited in the Tretyakov Art Gallery, but being exhibited in my motherland was the most desirable and the most honorable event for me.

-Who is the idol of a painter for you?

-I don’t have one.

-Is there anyone who has played a special role in your creative life?

-Kochar. When I was a boy of fourteen or so he introduced me to the intellectuals of the time-Papazyan, Nersisyan, and others. My taste has been shaped in their company.

-What do you like to paint?

-I was born five times. My creative life is divided into five phases. They are different from each other. For instance, in the stage I liked to paint women.

-It’s said that love plays a great role in the life of an artist.

-Love is the motive of new works. Each time I love in a new way. I also like to be attracted.

-Do you have dreams that aren’t realized?

-No, I don’t

-What about enemies?

-They help me, give me strength and I can’t hamper me. I wm strong and I have no malice to them.

-Have you found the most beautiful?

-The woman

-In which period would you like to live if you were given a chance to choose?

-I carry in me the prehistoric man and whole civilization. I’d like to live in the 21st century.

-During one of your conversations you said that we have fine youth.

-Bright, intellectual and appreciating youth. I’d like to world to be so harmonious that our young fellows didn’t have to keep peace by the arms. But alas. Our 18 to 20 years old Armenians are on the border today. I wish them strength and ardour. Let them always be patriotic and victorious.

-Which is the most distinctive feature of your character?

-I respect the Man. No one can say that he has waited for me at least for at least for a minute. As a secret I’ll say that the woman is my weakness.

-Which is your colour?

-The Light. The light is the beginning.

– I like the beginning.

-I love the light.

Gayaneh Poghosyan

Category: #44 (909) 10.11.2011 – 16.11.2011, Army and Society, Spiritual-Cultural, News