Eesti Ekspress 15.-22.aug 2002
The young man Rafael Arutyunyan who arrived in Tallinn on the coast of the Baltic Sea from the Caspian Sea in 1958 had the firm intention of becoming an artist. By destiny, two young men and one lady: Matti Vaarik, Renaldo Veeber and Ilme Kuld (maiden name Loik) happened to be his school mates at ERKI.
Even during his studies Arutyunyan stood out for his special world cognition and for the ability to express grief. His diploma work, which was completed in 1964, a composition of four figures titled “The Jewish Ghetto in Odessa,” caused live polemics among the examination committee. Almost 40 years have passed from that time, but the theme that influenced the artist-sculptor in youth is very topical even today, in the free Republic of Estonia, where the victims of the Holocaust will be memorialised officially every year.
For forty years the artist R. Arutyunyan has been compiling a chronicle of his time by revealing layer by layer the granite blocks in order to save into peoples’ memory the soldiers crippled at the massacre of Karabakh and Afghanistan. When the hand of the stonecutter weakened after decades, the artist changed instruments. Thus we have the possibility to see the exhibition of paintings and drawings of Rafael Arutyunyan in the Old Town Theatre House where over 230 (yes, two hundred thirty) works of the last five years are exhibited.