Samvel Saghatelian aka Sam Saga
BIO

Samvel Saghatelian (aka Sam Saga) was born in Yerevan, Armenia in 1958. He graduated from Yerevan Institute of Architecture and pursued a career in architecture. In 1988, at the brink of the collapse of USSR and Armenia’s independence, he started his journey as an artist.

In 2001, Saghatelian was one of the artists, who was representing the Armenian Pavilion in the 49th Venice Biennale in Italy, Plateau of Humankind.

In 2002, he was awarded a Fellowship from Arts Link (New York) for a residency program at Vermont Studio Center in Vermont, one of the largest international artists and writers program in the United States. He had his first solo exhibition there.

Very much attracted to the US art scene, Saghatelian moved to Los Angeles, California, where he currently lives and works.

Mission Statement: Mission Statement: I touch on human standards such as family values and prosperity, national survival, patriotism, and ideologies, and explore how individual lives and feelings have been sacrificed for the preservation of those standards.

SOLO SHOWS

2013 Mixed media project “TransRomanse”, Privet Apartment in one of the historic buildings in Yerevan, Armenia.

The concept of the exhibition touches the freedom of human being as human rights to choose his (her) sexual orientation and desire without being discriminated. As said the curator Vigen Galstyan “Regarding body, gender and sexual desire as a cultural and political phenomenon, Saghatelyan attempts to find a small platform of pleasure and enjoyment in the cross-section of these issues. At this ambigous, liminal point, the abscence of clear positions and answers itself becomes a kind of a solution”.
The concept of the show explores the nature of that power. Beyond the constraints of masculinity, the phallus becomes a symbol of human power itself, for better and worse. Enveloping, surrounding, and exploding through the material world, the ghost phallus becomes the primal and potent secret spirit, the undeniable driving energy inside churches, financial institutions, and even world leaders.

2004 Articultural Gallery, Los Angeles USA.
2004 Articultural Gallery, Los Angeles USA.
2003 Series “Grotesque Reality”, Harvest Gallery, Glendale, California, USA.
2002 Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont State, USA.

SELECTED GROUP SHOWS

2014 19 annual LA Art Show, 3 works from series “TransRomance”, Coagula Curatorial Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2014 19 annual LA Art Show, 3 works from series “TransRomance”, Coagula Curatorial Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2013 “Overload”, group show, Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, USA
2013 “Overload”, group show, Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, USA
2013 “The New Testosterone”, 3 person show, Coagula Curatorial Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2012 International Contemporary Art Festival “Land and Technology” organized by Shushi Art Project, Map Blanket and Performance “Open Censorship”, Shushi, Karabakh.
2012 International Contemporary Art Festival “Land and Technology” organized by Shushi Art Project, Map Blanket and Performance “Open Censorship”, Shushi, Karabakh.
2012 “In Search For Paradise”, Centro Arti Visive “Pescheria” collaboration with Antikyan Gallery, Pesaro, Italy.
2012 “In Search For Paradise”, Centro Arti Visive “Pescheria” collaboration with Antikyan Gallery, Pesaro, Italy.
2012 Group Show, Bruce Lurie Gallery, West Hollywood, CA.
2012 Group Show, Bruce Lurie Gallery, West Hollywood, CA.
2012 17 annual LA ART SHOW, Mooradian Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2012 17 annual LA ART SHOW, Mooradian Gallery, Los Angeles, USA. 2011 25th Anniversary of La Luz De Jesus Gallery. Los Angeles, USA.
2011 25th Anniversary of La Luz De Jesus Gallery. Los Angeles, USA.
2011 "Independence" Alternative Contemporary Art show , Opera Square,Yerevan, Armenia.
2011 "Independence" Alternative Contemporary Art show , Opera Square,Yerevan, Armenia.
2011 “Mysterious Objects”, portraits of Joan Quinn, Santa Ana Art College, California, USA.
2011 “Mysterious Objects”, portraits of Joan Quinn, Santa Ana Art College, California, USA.
2011 Group Show , Museum Carcere Borbonico, Avelino, Italy.
2011 Group Show , Museum Carcere Borbonico, Avelino, Italy.
2010 Group Show “Armeni”, Castel del Ovo Museum, Napoli, Italy.
2010 Group Show “Armeni”, Castel del Ovo Museum, Napoli, Italy.
2009 Aqua Art Miami 2009, Black Maria Gallery, Miami, USA.
2009 Aqua Art Miami 2009, Black Maria Gallery, Miami, USA.
2009 LA Digital Juried Show (curator Rita Gonzales , LACMA), Los Angeles, USA.
2009 LA Digital Juried Show (curator Rita Gonzales , LACMA), Los Angeles, USA.
2009 “Everything But The Kitchen Sync” , La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2009 “Everything But The Kitchen Sync” , La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2008 3 Person Show, La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2008 3 Person Show, La Luz De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2007 Juried Group Show, Avenue 50 Studio, Los Angeles, CA.
2007 Juried Group Show, Avenue 50 Studio, Los Angeles, CA.
2007 “Deeeeesire” Gatoo Galleries,California State University, Long Beach, USA.
2007 “Deeeeesire” Gatoo Galleries,California State University, Long Beach, USA.
2007 “Immigrant Punk” Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2006 “Hot: Images That Sizzle” APG Gallery, Atlanta, USA.
2006 “Hot: Images That Sizzle” APG Gallery, Atlanta, USA.
2006 Group Show, Gallery Bremer, Berlin, Germany.
2006 Group Show, Gallery Bremer, Berlin, Germany.
2005 Group Show “Over the Age” APG Gallery, Atlanta, USA
2005 Group Show “Over the Age” APG Gallery, Atlanta, USA
2004 Group Show “Arrival” Articultural Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2004 Group Show “Arrival” Articultural Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.
2003 Foundraising Group Show, Hunter Times Square Gallery, New York, USA.
2003 Foundraising Group Show, Hunter Times Square Gallery, New York, USA. 2002 Exhibition of Armenian Artists: Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (ACCEA), Tehran, Iran.
2001 Video Installation “Blessed Land”, XLIX Venice Biennale, Armenian Pavilion Arte Domus Gallery, Kortrijk, Belgium 2001
2000 “Civic Commotion”, The Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (ACCEA), Yerevan, Armenia.
1999 “Closed City”, Group show of Armenian and Russian Contemporary Artists. Hye-Art Cultural Center, Yerevan, Armenia.
1998 Group Show, Sergio Caribe Galeria de Arte, San Paolo, Brazil
1998 “At the Brink of 21st century” Museum of Contemporary Art , Yerevan, Armenia.
1998 “Yerevan Avant-Garde Art”, ACCEA, Yerevan, Armenia
1998 Armenian and Russian Artists exhibition, Organized by Mars Gallery (Moscow) and Noha’s Ark Gallery ( Yerevan), “Luis Borges ” cultural Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1997 Group Show “Breakthrough”, House of Parliament, Yerevan, Armenia. “Post Soveticum”.
1995 Gala Opening of the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art, ACCEA, Yerevan, Armenia.

CURATED SHOWS AT BLACK MARIA GALLERY IN LOS ANGELES

2009 “Knights and Hunters” Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
In the concept of the show we raised questions about the confusing expectations of men in modern times.
2007 IMMIGRANT PUNK, Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles
2007 IMMIGRANT PUNK, Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles
It is this constructive, hugely life-affirming aspect of immigration that our upcoming show celebrates. A veritable maelstrom of challenges awaits an immigrant in a new country: the language barrier, unfamiliar rules and ways of doing things, different traditions and cultural approaches, the very imperative of carving one’s own path out of an alien place.
2007 “BOUND & GAGGED”, group show of Prison Art from former USSR and from Los Angeles prisons and 15 international artists. Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles. The concept of the show was to push people to respond with a radical alternative to their boundaries, by channeling the desire for freedom into art. The Exhibition was comprise graffiti created especially for the exhibition by a number of Los Angeles artists, as well as ongoing screenings of a recent documentary on prison art. The graffiti component of the exhibition is being organized in collaboration with Gallery Crewest.
2006 “PMS Revolution”, Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, USA It is a tribute to the programmed biological sacrifice whichwomen go through every month, a sacrifice through which theyreenact the ritual of spilling blood without having to spillthe blood of others.”
2006 Hollywood Dream: Bloody Red Carpet , Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2006 Hollywood Dream: Bloody Red Carpet , Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, USA The resplendent glamour and plasticity of the Hollywood enterprise are necessary tools to mask the psychological toll of reaching fame, in tune with the entertainment industry’s battle cry of ceaseless fictionalization.
2006 “Innocence of Sexuality”, Black Maria Gallery, los Angeles, USA
2006 “Innocence of Sexuality”, Black Maria Gallery, los Angeles, USA This show was a tribute to the child-like in the sexual. It’s a celebration of the fact that an instinct which finds its ultimate fulfillment in the act of sexual consummation is also a hugely dynamic factor in all aspects of our lives.
2005 “The Coffin Show: Between Life & Death” Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, USA As a receptacle for the dead, a coffin is perhaps the only concrete, tactile punctuation mark between the two realms. The works shown in our exhibition represent the artists personal take on death – and, as importantly, life – through the prism of the funerary object.
2005 “Macho Bullshit” Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, USA
2005 “Macho Bullshit” Black Maria Gallery, Los Angeles, USA This exhibition was a no-holds-barred look at the phenomenon, with plenty of commentary on the irony and nuances of the macho way of being, and also the inner conflict of not being able to deal with fast-evolving gender roles and societal values.

BIENNALES, PROJECTS , CONFERENCES

2001 Video Installation “Blessed Land”, XLIX Venice Biennale, Armenian Pavilion