Saroyan, the "Cap"tain

Yerevan street art2

Saroyan is still the pride and joy of Armenia, his ancestral homeland keeping his memory alive over 40 years after his passing. In 2021, artist Arman Stepanyan commemorated Saroyan’s 113th birthday with a unique portrait made from thousands of plastic bottle caps at the corner of Parpetsi and Pushkin Streets in Yerevan. The Armenian solar energy company SOLARA provided solar LED lights to illuminate the portrait. Street art is not very common in Armenia, largely due to Soviet-era rules; but it has been gaining momentum in recent years. Below the artist speaks about his mosaic and a somewhat clumsy translation into English by Google Translate follows.


William Saroyan's bottle caps mosaic in Pushkin Parpetsi road cross


“Our whole world consists of molecules and cells. By combining these small elements with each other with colors, you create a piece of art in a beautiful environment. It's street art or pixel art, making it using waste. Lids are considered waste. Some guy on Facebook wrote me to collect caps especially for me and I was very happy. I don’t know if people are happy about other things. They give me some kind of material that I can use to create. Another advantage of creating is that you can achieve something through art. Since 2018, I have had a dream that we should have a picture of William Saroyan in the city because we don't even have any streets with the name of William Saroyan. And in fact I chose the place very randomly so that it is a part of the intersection, it’s located in the center. I tried to implement it in the urban environment. I tell my friends to stand on this street and they say that tourists come and take pictures and I enjoy it so much. The happiest thing in my life is when you are able to influence human psychology in a direct sense through art, that is, through colors and shapes, because that is the most important in mosaic.”


yerevan street art1


Photographs taken by Fr. Mesrop Ash


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