Born in Detroit, Garabedian moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1933. After traveling the country and the globe during his service in the Air Force during WWII, Garabedian returned to Southern California where he lived and worked until his death in 2016. Garabedian is known for his paintings and drawings of mythological themes.
Garabedian attended UC Santa Barbara and USC on the GI Bill, earning a BA in history with minors in philosophy and literature. It was almost ten years later that Garabedian met the artist Ed Moses and accompanied him to a drawing class taught by Howard Warshaw. With Warshaw’s encouragement, Garabedian applied to UCLA and earned a Master’s degree in art in 1961. Shortly thereafter, Garabedian proclaimed he would stop reading, wishing to be inspired purely through the visual; this did not last, however, and Greek tragedies like The Iliad, which Garabedian was initially exposed to in college, returned as a major source of inspiration, alongside Armenian manuscripts and the work of Mexican muralists.
This Study for the Iliad is one in a significant series of figure and battlefield scene studies referencing the Greek epic poem by Homer. Study is exemplary of the kind of monumental yet awkward figures for which Garabedian is known. The figure’s position and scale relative to the background and the edges of the canvas lends the figure a sense of mythical or archetypical importance, while the clumsiness of the figure–its distorted shape and gawky positioning–relays its humanity.
Artist: Charles Garabedian
Title: Study for the Iliad
Medium: Acrylic on paper
Dimension: 42 x 42 in. (106.68 x 106.68 cm)
Collection: The Buck Collection at the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art
Copyright: © 8/17/2018 Gwen Garabedian