Essay: Armen Agop by Ahmed Fouad Selim

20 September 2013

The sculpture resembles what it should be, although by its own nature of stone it could be the opposite of the visible, and it could be a proof of the invisible in the representations of the mind.

Armen Agop confines us within the dimensions of the stone body to the point that the invisible rebels against us and even becomes obscure, given the treachery of the clues to one another.

Here he is sculpting for us the stone as dark as basalt, the stone that for us will represent the hidden part of conscience. It is not a coincidence that we should find it in the sculptures of Armen Agop, but it is the surprise of what was stored in the body of the stone.

We see in his sculpture a delicacy similar to rhyming verses, rhythms like oriental keys, edges as sharp as the blade of a knife, a Sufi-like wisdom entangled in its dignity, a body of stone pulled tight and drowning in the curves of the circles and a porosity that appears to us as if it were human skin.


Armen Agop sculpts the space as if he were holding the void and solidifying the place at once; just as if the space around it, and not the dimensions of the stone, was the real body of sculpture.

The terrestrial and celestial join there, as well as the sensed and the reasoned – in other words, this is where the action of the legend begins. This is why when looking at the sculpture, we are struck by motions of virtuous sexuality; by indications on the surface of the stone of the Sufi fear of God.

When looking at the oval stone plates, the lines joining at the edges are separate, then adjacent, and finally extend to the point of disappearing on the surface of the stone, and we are left face to face with the hypothetical image that Armen Agop wanted, the image of the “invisible,” which perfectly confirms the “ideal” in the stone sculpture in terms of rhythms and from the fact that it is a bridge bringing us back to the primitive beginnings, an evidence of the initial purity.


Armen Agop does not produce nature in itself with his stone sculpture, he produces for us a second nature, a nature which was transported twice: once from this society which is identified in its fabric, and another time by the creator who unveiled it and made it public.

There is a spirituality to Agop’s sculptures, which reminds us of Brancusi’s spirituals, an instinct similar to that of primitive cells of Arps’s, a poetry resembling that to which Miloti invites us and a sensuality similar to the cement pieces of Staccioli. There also is a character from the Sufi energy that surprises us in the pharaonic sculptures in basalt; a mix, creating this existentialism which gave honesty to Armen Agop in his stone pieces.

We nevertheless see him as an individual artist unifying with the stone. He has this random capacity that makes us run our fingers on the stone as if it were part of our everyday nature. We touch Agop’s sculptures furtively, for fear of drowning our fingers in them, for fear their traces should be printed on us or that the sculptures themselves be startled and suffer from the weight.
And this is how this sensitivity holds the license of human expression and the characteristics printed on the active mind.

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