Martiros uses these various elements to create a multi-dimensional and multi-textual effect that adds a sense of motion and energy to his pieces. Martiros paints figurative portraits in the manner of artists like Peter Paul Rubens and chiaroscuro artist Caravaggio. Martiros places them into a new context by incorporating contemporary urban art visuals like yellow caution tape and compositional elements from graffiti art.
This unique combination of aesthetics, classical portraiture along with street art influence, is intended to fuse together the old and the new by connecting two distinct styles of art. The juxtaposition in his pieces between traditional subject matter and contemporary elements, seeks to question authority by giving historical figures of power new context. The spontaneous use of color and application simultaneously gives the work an irreverent attitude yet a deep appreciation towards the tradition of the old masters.
Martiros’ process begins by what he refers to as “digging,” which is his process of collecting digital and print images that inspire him. Martiros spends long periods of time looking through images from 16th and 17th century paintings as well as the decorative arts of the time. Those elements are seen in his painting “Bluebird”. Bluebird is a portrait of a girl, inspired by “Las Meninas” by Diego Velazquez. The textile like patterning throughout the painting reflects Russian tapestries from the 16th century.
Martiros Adalian graduated from Terlemezian Art College of Yerevan, Armenia, and moved to the U.S. in 1990. Martiros has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S., Europe, and Russia.