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    Karen Chekerdjian

    Karen Chekerdjian

    1. Where were you born and where are you from ?

    I am born in Beirut-Lebanon in 1970. I am from an armenian origine. Both my families came to lebanon from Turkey in the beginning of the last century.

    2. What is your first memory connected to the art world ?

    I use to be fascinated by modernist painting when i was still in school and I gradually painted all my walls in my room with copies i did myself of cocteau, magritte and others.

    3. Have you always worked in the art/design field ?

    Always! I went from movie direction to advertising, than i did graphic design and finally i ended up as a furniture designer.

    4. What led you to the design creation ?

    I finished my college just at the end of the civil war in Lebanon, and we only had, at that time, very few possibilities to study in the art field. Everything i wanted was not teached at university. There was no graphics, no movie direction and no industrial design. I chose them propabably instinctively because i was in need of creativity. After my experience in graphic art i felt the need to design an object in 3D, versus the 2D. I had the urge to design all the objects i used in my daily life.

    5. How would you describe your creative process and it influences ?

    I cannot say that i only have one creative process. But i have to say that none of my work came easily to me as an inspiration. My pieces are the result of hard work and perseverance. When i start to draw it is a long and tough process that is sometimes very frustrating and i am never easily satisfied by my ideas. And suddenly after a long hard work it becomes obvious, I see it clearly. This process was very difficult before, still is sometimes, but now i know that this is the only way, and i accept it that you can sometimes design nothing good for a while. You need to be patient with yourself.
    I can be influenced a lot by an art piece, an architecture, an element of nature, an archeology or even a story. Very much a story is atypic, the pieces I designed came in circumstances, without the context i would never had done it.

    6. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    Nothing really of a routine. It can be very variable. Going to the craftman. Working in the office to do all the office work! Yes it takes so much time to follow up an office and a team.

    7. Why did you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    I chose what i found.
    When i started to work in Lebanon in year 2000, I was just back from Italy where everything was possible. And here I am in a total different situation. Working here was a new experiment. I had to reinvent the way to work and be on my own. At that time it was the opposite of everything the italian design was. I was only working with the craftman and the material i would find locally.
    Many years later I was able to go outside lebanon and fetch the material i wanted that was not found locally.

    8. What are the technical particularities of your creations ?

    My drawings are basically ideas. And most of the times to transform the idea into an object you need to know how. But I cannot have all the knowledge needed for each material i would like to work with. So i always need the mastership of the craftman. I remember always coming with drawings that my craftman would say it is impossible to be done. I would start to be so insisting because i didnt believe there was no solution for it. And he was always finding a solution for me. Thanks to him i can say that every piece was a technical challenge that i wouldn’t know how to solve, but i was lucky enough to have someone to solve it for me.

    9. What advices could you give to beginning artists who would like to create sculptural design works ?

    Perseverance and courage to do things that are not politically correct in the meaning that they dont look like something you have already been used to. Question always the meaning and the esthetic.

    10. If your works had to belong to a design movement, in which one would you define it ?

    Probably I would have liked to be in the Bauhaus movement, but i am not sure i would fit. I have been in movement and experimenting a lot of different roads. I was sometimes attracted by Memphis, sometimes Archizoom and sometimes none really.

    11. What designers have influenced you ?

    By a lot of the maestros like Eileen Gray, Charaud, Perriand, Scarpa, Sotssass, Branzi and mainly my mentor Massimo Morozzi.

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    13. What contemporary artists (in any kind of art) have you been inspired by ?

    Frank Stella, Kusama, Penone, Serra, Artschwager, Walter De Maria, Lee Ufan

    14. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    My work should always have a meaning and never give its age up.

    15. Is there anything you would like to add ?

    Proust Questionnaire with very short answers (one or a few words) :
    (The Proust Questionnaire is a set of questions answered by the French writer Marcel Proust. Other historical figures who have answered confession albums are Oscar Wilde, Karl Marx, Arthur Conan Doyle, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Cézanne…)

    1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?


    2. What is your greatest fear?


    3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?


    4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?


    5. Which living person do you most admire?

    Everyday someone new

    6. What is your greatest extravagance?

    my way of being myself

    7. What is your current state of mind?

    live the day

    8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


    9. What is the quality you most like in a man?


    10. What is the quality you most like in a woman?


    11. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

    who cares

    12. Which talent would you most like to have?

    easy speech

    13. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

    my laziness

    14. What do you consider your greatest achievement?


    15. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

    myself as i am at my age at a younger age

    16. Where would you most like to live?

    now on a greek island for 6 month a year

    17. What is your most treasured possession?

    my children if they are a possession

    18. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?


    19. What is your favorite occupation?

    a drink with my friends

    20. What is your most marked characteristic?


    21. What do you most value in your friends?


    22. Who are your favorite writers?

    Now Malaparte but tomorrow I dont know

    23. Who is your hero of fiction?

    Darth Vador

    24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

    25. Who are your heroes in real life?


    26. What are your favorite names?

    My kids names Adam and Athena

    27. What is it that you most dislike?


    28. What is your greatest regret?

    Not having been loved passionately

    29. How would you like to die?

    In peace with myself

    30. What is your motto?

    Believe that life is taking you where you should go

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