Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles


Van Saro’s “It’s a Wonderful World” opens at La Luz de Jesus Gallery on Friday, October 4 and is up through November 3.


Courtesy of LJP –

Saro, the son of Armenian immigrants, has witnessed much hardship, but never lost ambition. Following in the footsteps of artists like William Bouguereau, Charles Bargue, and Norman Rockwell, Van Saro brings to life the stories of his present world. Unlike his classical predecessors (and even his peers), he uses graffiti to articulate the narrative within. Songs also make an incredible contribution to the emotional translation of street life in Van’s paintings.

Photos of “It’s a Wonderful World” were taken in his workspace, a garage attached to the house he lives in with his wife and child, in Sunland California in Los Angeles County.

saro_orwellian-life (1)

Courtesy of LJP –

Q: The paintings and messages in “What a Wonderful World” are the exact opposite of the show title – is this sarcasm, a personal feeling or a way to open the eyes of those who come to your show even wider than say if you gave the show a literal title in step with what you are expressing?

VS: I felt that the show needed some sarcasm and dark humor to balance the gravity of the paintings. I put that in the titles’ of the paintings and the show. Since we live in a world where everything is balanced by opposition I knew that this was necessary.


Courtesy of LJP –

Q: Your masks are a focal point of your paintings, but who is behind the mask could be you or anyone – do you feel strongly that your viewers should walk away with their own interpretation of your pieces?

VS: The masks are there to create anonymity. I don’t want to over define my paintings. Every person’s life is a unique experience, so I believe that art should also be infinite in meaning. Just because it means one thing to me, it doesn’t mean that it has to mean the same thing to you.

Courtesy of LJP -

Courtesy of LJP –

Q: When looking at your paintings, one gets the feeling that you have put equal amounts of time into your messages and technique. Which of these came first when you started painting?

VS: When i first started painting, the technical aspects were overwhelming, and that ate up most of my energy. However I believe that there should be a balance of technique (physical world), and creativity and philosophy (the expression of soul). I do believe that the creative aspect is by far the most important part, however in order to communicate to the computer of the brain, we have to master technique as well.

Q: Your works are detailed and your colors are solid and vivid which is something you feel is accomplished by painting on board which you learned from studying the Dutch Masters – can you tell us about how you were attracted to the works of the Dutch Masters and are able to apply their techniques to an entirely different sort of subject matter?

Courtesy of LJP -

Courtesy of LJP –

VA: I was drawn to the Dutch painters during visits to the Getty center. The luminosity of their paintings is amazing. I actually don’t know the techniques that they used. Asides from painting on wood (note: Saro feels that painting on smooth board enables better saturation, more luminosity and finer details than does canvas), I’m sure that my approach is quite different

Q: You’ve said that your knowledge about the world’s current events comes from history books, not from news. Can you expand on this concept?

VA: News is always corrupted and used as a propaganda tool. History is also perverted, however you can get a lot more honest about the past since the events and the players have long since passed. When we study history, we see the nature of human behavior. Both the rulers and the peasants. Very little has changed since the dawn of civilization. The tools have changed but we keep doing the same stupid shit. Every war is waged on lies, every government is built on corruption. Why would it be any different today?

I was taught that the elite understand history very well. History holds the answers since the past is prologue. History helps powerful men evolve the science of control and power. However it can also help individuals understand what type of world we really live

Courtesy of LJP -

Courtesy of LJP –

Van Saro “What a Wonderful World”
October 4 – 27, 2013
Opening Reception: Friday, October. 4th, 8-11 PM
La Luz de Jesus Gallery

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