San Francisco

Paul Sarkisian

Michael Walls Gallery

At the Michael Walls Gallery we have had a show of four paintings by Paul Sarkisian, a Los Angeles artist who recently lived for a time in northern California. Using photographs and an airbrush, Sarkisian produces a kind of realism that is disquieting because for one reason or another you cannot step into the picture. On the other hand, his canvases are so large and so finely detailed that he brings a part of his world into the gallery.

The most recent painting, executed this year, shows an abandoned house. The painting is almost 17 feet wide and is done in black and a cream color that suggests both griminess and a leaching out of the original color of the house. Even more than Sarkisian’s earlier work, this one is present in the room. I cannot explain the fascination of this painting, but I can report that I have seen knowledgeable persons troop into the gallery to look at it, go away

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