University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
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CHGS

Apo Torosyan

About the Artist

Apo TorosyanIstanbul-born artist Apo Torosyan graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, B.F.A./M.F.A. in 1968, and emigrated to the U.S. in the same year.  After establishing a very successful visual design company, he sold his business in 1986 to dedicate his time to his art.  Since then, he has had many solo and group shows all over the U.S. and Europe, and his work has appeared in private and corporate collections in Turkey, Greece, Spain, France, Armenia, Canada, and the U.S. His art works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art at Tonneins, Bordeaux, France; the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, MA; Ararat Eskijian Museum in Los Angeles, CA; Armenian Western Diocese in Burbank, CA; A.G.B.U. Manoogian Collection, Montreal, Canada; Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT; Flaten Art Museum in Northfield, MN and Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, FL. Apo is an active member of the Boston Printmakers and the International Association of Genocide Scholars.

Artist Statement

I was born and raised the son of an Armenian father and a Greek mother in Istanbul, Turkey, the old Byzantine city of Constantinople.  At an early age I started working on canvas and discovered texture.  The surface of a stained and weathered wall; the bark of a tree; an old manuscript; a mosaic; a fresco; a Hellenistic or Etruscan temple or an icon – all fascinated me.

My artwork has my personal history, which is similar to many others under similar circumstances.

The bread, which is the staff of life, was taken away from my ancestors.  It represents victims of oppression.  They died in starvation, including my grandparents.  I immortalize the bread within my concepts.  It is an organic metaphor.  It is the cycle of life.

The form is expressive.  If you look closely, you can never find one single slice of bread similar to another.  This accelerates one’s imagination.

I use my ethnic background as a source of my creativity.  The Byzantine, the Armenian culture, the formation of a manuscript, the historic texture of the walls of the city where I was born.  In the Orthodox and Gregorian Church, the Holy Book is immortalized with gold or silver.  I do the same thing with my “Bread Series” of paintings.

What I try to do with the “Bread Series” is to picture the life cycle itself within my interpretation.  The found object I use is bread, which is symbolic, textural, and ordinary.  The earth is part of the organic cycle, which represents peace and life.

If my work remains in someone’s mind, and touches someone’s heart and soul, my statement is complete.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share my work with you.

Art Works

Bread Series Installation
Bread Series Installation, Arno Maris Gallery, Westfield MA. 2000.
Bread Series Installation Bread Series Installation
Bread Series Installation, Univ. of S. OR. 2000.
Immigration Installation
Immigration Installation, Ion Gallery of Cont. Art, Fairfield CT. Description
Bread Bread #162 & #163
Bread #162 & #163, Mixed Media on canvas, 60" x 44", 1999
Bread #162 & #163
Bread #162 & #163, Mixed Media on canvas, 60" x 44", 1999
Bread # 214
Bread # 214
, Mixed Media on canvas, 70'' x 68'', 1994
Bread #164
Bread #164
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #178
Bread #178
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #174
Bread #174
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #181
Bread #181
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #175
Bread #175
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #179
Bread #179
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #180
Bread #180
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #169
Bread #169
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #171
Bread #171
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #173
Bread #173
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #168
Bread #168
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #170
Bread #170
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #172
Bread #172
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #167
Bread #167
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1999
Bread #103
Bread #103
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1997
Bread #131
Bread #131
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1997
Bread #101
Bread #101
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1997
Bread #144
Bread #144
, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1998
Bread #143
Bread #143, Mixed Media on canvas, 18" x 18", 1998
Bread #145
Bread #145
, Mixed Media on canvas, 30" x 36", 1998
exhibition
Installation at Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2007
exhibition
Installation at Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2007
exhibition
Installation at Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2007
exhibition
Installation at Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2007
exhibition
Installation at Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2007
exhibition
Installation at Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2007
exhibition
Installation at Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2007
exhibition
Installation at Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2007

Contact Information

Apo Torosyan
E-mail: Apotoros@comcast.net

Other Resources