INTERVIEW BY KATINA GOULAKOS
PHOTOGRAPHS BY WOJTEK JAKUBIEC
Garo. This four-letter named Montreal native has been making a name for himself on social media and producing some of the most beautiful art of his generation.
Garo Hakimian is a Canadian artist of Armenian descent. His intricate paintings and vivid imagination is what makes him an artist to keep an eye on.
We at Imagista went to his studio in Montreal, Quebec and got the chance to not only chat with him but to see him in action.
Imagista: When did you start painting?
Garo: When I was three years old my father, who was an artist, handed me a paintbrush and a canvas. It was right there and then that I created my first painting.
Imagista: Who or what inspires you the most?
Garo: God first and foremost and my family.
Imagista: How would you describe your style of work?
Garo: I don’t like to label my work as a particular style, to be honest. One of my favorite quotes is “technique is a trap, style is a prison” and that is something that I live by, artistically speaking. My art is free and limitless and full of surprises.
Imagista: What does being an artist mean to you?
Garo: Being an artist is just who I am. It means I can do what I want, what makes me happy. Being an artist means I can be free.
Imagista: What was the best advice you were ever given regarding art?
Garo: Cut your ear off.
Imagista: If you weren’t painting what would you be doing?
Garo: I would probably be a martial artist. Muay Thai is something I love and that I am passionate about so I think if I wasn’t painting I would be doing something in that field.
Imagista: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
Garo: Art. It is what I am and who I am, plain and simple.
Imagista: What artist would you like to meet, dead or alive?
Garo: In this order: Picasso, George Condo, Basquiat, Pierre Soulages, Dali, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and George Matthew.
Imagista: What other mediums would you like to explore with and create with?
Garo: I would love to explore sculpting, I think I would be a better sculptor than I am a painter.
Imagista: What subject do you like to draw or paint the most?
Garo: I don’t really find subjects to paint. I just begin with colors and as I paint the subject kind of finds itself.
Imagista: Did you always want to be an artist?
Garo: It is not about becoming something, it is about being something and I have always been an artist. I decided to dedicate myself completely to the craft about eight years ago and have been painting full time ever since.
Imagista: Do you feel like social media has impacted your work at all?
Garo: Of course. Social media has impacted my work because I am able to get exposure and make sales on pieces that are not in a gallery. When you think about it, social media is the biggest art gallery in the world.
Imagista: What is one thing our readers should know about you?
Garo: I draw every single day but throw most of my work because I am never satisfied. Nobody has ever been great by being satisfied with their work, I am constantly looking at how to be not only better but how to be the best.