Smbatian creative style is easily recognizable and very individual, however, it fits into the style that first appeared in the art of Armenia in the middle of last century, but already in the 60's well established and has become one of the hallmarks of an era: large plane surface covered with an intense local color mostly pure, undoped tones, often a clear outline, outlining the elements of the image, emphasized a simple composition, which are excluded from small parts and details. Sixties manifested in art and design of a kind decorative constructivism, preference for simple forms, placed in a clearly marked is space. Naturally, this interpretation is best lend themselves to still lifes. Items, fruits, plants, losing detail and texture, becoming a cause for the color of improvisation, a kind of "cubes", fragments of children's designer, from which "laid out" the surface of the painting. Smbatian wrote still-lifes composed of simple objects, they often go out of the picture in picture. As a dark tower, stands the silhouette of a kerosene lamp, next round bluish-white flank kettle, cutting red background, looming carved contour candlestick, fruits, lying in a vase or in apparent disarray scattered on the horizontal table - in various combinations of these objects the artist wrote. In pictures Smbatian there is nothing vague, reticence. A dense layer of paint, almost palpable texture strokes - everything is concrete, tangible. However, it is the subject of a strange way, "razvoploschen: before us is not an apple, teapot, candlestick, and like the idea of an apple, teapot, candlesticks, etc.
SUBJECT interests of artists is not its function, not a destination, it does not exist "for us" and "for itself" in the proper frame of a closed world. These fruits are not for eating and not even for admiration - a self-contained kettle is not intended for storing hot water, and the candle does not "intend to" cover. The very meaning of the conditional "apple", as well as any other subject - in its form, color, place it occupies in the picture. Only occasionally sight of the artist dwells on some object, like a photo of me a lens to examine it in a strong approximation, when seen all the fine details. So sharply distinguished in the exhibition among other works is simple, even a simple still life, which carefully written out one single apple with all his spots, handle, round brilliant sideways. Looking at landscapes Smbatian inadvertently think that the artist for the painting requires very little external momentum. Enough view from a window with a thin-legged tree and a few white and yellow roofs of neighboring houses. The same degree of generalization, as in still-life, free play with local spots of pure color. Impression of the painting, based primarily on color relationships, it's difficult to translate into words, and yet the art of Smbatian color - it's all or almost all. Incidentally, he tried to "subtract" the color of the picture, showed a still life, done exclusively in black and white palette from black to light gray, but the "poor man" looked lonely, crushed color pressure from all sides. Style of the artist does not imply a negative color, "as it and the keeps, and of all colors most - in the red.
Perhaps not even remember artists for whom such a powerful, fierce red with all shades - from sunset orange to poppy-scarlet - was so beloved and familiar color. But most striking works Smbatian with red in portraits. There is already a very special conversation. Portrait - not still life and landscape, the portrait of the artist personality, individuality, which is impossible to take into account - not the apple away. We can say that the portrait is born as a result of the interaction of two - Artists and portrayed. But here Smbatyan possible without any tension to create, on the one hand, this completely customized, even the characteristic portrait, on the other - not to deviate from its principle of limiting generalization. There are on show and several children's portraits, each of which the artist to a greater or lesser extent, resorted to his favorite red, on which a decorative contrasting color stands out the figure. The guys sit tensely, spanned, they pose and the artist does not even try it as something to hide, to pretend that is portrayed in their natural state. Views them as tight as posture, and all this coupled with the intense, contrasting color scheme gives the portraits of the internal dynamics, not so relevant as it were, a calm posture depicted. Despite its venerable age, and perhaps because of it, Karen Smbatian freely experimenting, working in various genres, while not changing his style, retaining its attitude toward art and life.
• Zara Ter-HAKOBYAN
GA November 17, 2007