Recently The Knockturnal got to check out the amazing Art Viewing of the Martiros Manoukian Constellation Collection at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills. This was the first official collection showing of this $62 million collection. This exclusive art exhibit viewing was presented by Haykoff Gallery, which was founded by accomplished art dealer and collector Bella Haykoff, who is exclusive art dealer for Martiros Manoukian’s collection. Haykoff is an accomplished art dealer, collector and business consultant based in Beverly Hills, California. She is credited as one of the most astute dealers of modern paintings on the West Coast. Amongst her astounding collection of various international artists whose painting she has sold include Robert Rauschenberg, Ivan Aivazovsky, Ivan Shishkin, Martiros Saryan, Minas Avetisyan and Konstantin Korovin just to name a few. The Haykoff Gallery is a private, appointment-only mobile art gallery showcasing exclusive collections throughout the world via white glove service. After checking in we were greeted by professional art expert speaker and auctioneer Leif Rydfors who presented the collection and unveiling the artwork.
Born in Armenia, Martiros first struck genius one day when he went away to nature at the age of 11. From a young age he had always liked to draw inspiration from the world around him. While walking to school one day he had stopped and started to paint what he saw in front of him so vividly, as if there was a divine prescience hanging over him. That same day he ended up missing school completely. When his mother found out and asked him why he had missed school, he showed her his painting. She didn’t believe that her son had the amount of talent to have been able to paint it, and only after much convincing she finally decided to believe that Martiros was actually the master behind the art. Martiros then went on to submit this piece at a competition and it ended up winning 1st place at the Soviet Union school art competition. When he was 16 he entered the competition for avant-garde as a trailblazer for art, seeing that at the time one was only allowed to paint “soviet realism”. When he eventually came to the US he was finally able to create what had been pent up inside of him for so long. He had not had the same materials available to him having grown up impoverished in the Soviet Union that he suddenly did once arriving to the US. Being in that experimental space he flourished and he was able to fully unleash his genius. Martiros believed art would free us which is evident through his work. While standing in front of the collection it enticingly draws you in and seduces you. The iconic “Martiros red”, a bold red color he was able to recreate identically every single time, in many of his paintings immediately pulls in the viewer. It takes him about 2-3 years to complete one of his paintings. Martiros was also a big contributor to fauvism, an art style that emphasized painterly qualities and strong color over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism. Martiros simply put is a genius of fantasy. Martiros’s art tantalizes all your senses and speaks volumes about what he is creating, something that is so unique and holds the essence of mysteriousness.