Armen Agop (1969) was born to Armenian parents in Cairo, Egypt, where he was confronted daily with the dualities of the two ancient cultures. The dialog between the two heritages created in him a continuous reevaluation of values, which lead him to look for the essence at the core of things. His search resulted in a deep conviction of the importance of both the physical and the spiritual in his work.
He faces this directly through the never ending series, “Touch” and ‘Sufic”. While there are many similarities between the two series, (i.e. material, color, simplicity of form and concept), they are based on two commonly thought opposing concepts; the physical verses the spiritual. Agop believes they are complimentary and that we cannot perceive and achieve the complete experience of one without the other.
In further research, the MANTRA series developed from the concept of taking the simplest of elements, the point, and expanding it through time. The results are luminescent galaxies of points upon a black abyss, created with a gestural mantra, a meditation of gestures through time.
He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Helwan University in Cairo, where he was also awarded an assistant research scholarship. Agop began to exhibit his work in many diverse shows throughout Egypt and received the Sculpture Prize from the Autumn Salon in 1998. In 2000, he was nationally recognized by the Egyptian government when he was awarded the the State Prize of Artistic Creativity, the “Prix de Rome.” After staying in Rome the first year, he moved to Pietrasanta, Italy where he lives and works today. In 2010 he won the Umberto Mastroianni award and in 2013 he was awarded the Sulmona Prize, the Presidential Medal of the Italian Republic.
Through his meditative practice in his work, Agop developed a personal relation with matter and time, resulting in works that describe precisely, ambiguous entities. His sculptures can be perplexing, often appearing as futuristic beings or UFOs, and at the same time, remind one of the soberness of ancient Egyptian art in its powerful lines and simple forms.