Arevik Arevshatyan paints beautifully strange hybrids, hothouse flowers with women’s bodies or human eyes staring out at the viewer. Coming of age as an artist in the mid 1980s, she is exemplary of her generation who were schooled by the Soviet system in traditional techniques, then inundated with new ideas flowing in from the West. Arevshatyan embraces the tradition of still-life oil painting, enticing the viewer to enter into the field of the canvas with her refined technique and subtle palette. Also in the tradition, the still-life picture is about more than the plants and animals it represents. Arevshatyan suggests that her paintings are like portraits of women who stare silently, passively observing the world around them, mirroring the banal masculine perception of woman as a flower. But their exotic glamour and surreal uncanniness undercut that passivity: their beauty is aggressive. The blank stare of the woman/flower challenges the gaze of the viewer, so that the viewer becomes the viewed.

by Kathryn Hixson
2003
American art critic and historian


Arevik Arevishatian's surreal canvases address the representation of the female and stereotypes of femininity. In cultured and polite style, she paints beautiful alluring flowers, open and inviting. On further investigation, the viewer will be shocked to observe that the flower is observing them, for each bloom stares out with a very human eye. Arevishatian often mixes images of the female human body holding flowers, and through positioning she questions the collapse of fertility with the feminine. In other works she paints images of other polite objects like religious or folk figurines. Here she reveals her parallel expertise in design for the stage, where every object can tell innumerable stories.

by Kathryn Hixson
2010
American art critic and historian


Arevik Arevshatyan is a freelance curator, an active female artist. Following the ideas of surrealism, she tries to present the experience of the mysterious in the human look. As we know, visual experience is different for men and women, and Arevik exploits this to raise gender issues. We often come across taboos and fetishes in her works. If taboo is anti-metaphoric, then fetish is supremely metaphoric. The look blinded by the bright of the fetish turns an object into a metaphor of another object; it is the place of the memory of impossible.
Arevik Arevshatyan’s works are poetic and especially reminiscent of the poetry of Charles Baudelaire and Stéphane Mallarmé. Both poets have used the "absolute metaphor" term, which may be used as key for Arevik Arevshatyan’s "Metaphor" object. The metaphor allows for liberation from reality and from traditional figurativeness. It is a logical absurdity, where traditional meanings lose their sense.

by Vardan Jaloyan
2014
Armenian cultural critic