Oct 21, 2022 - Jan 7, 2023
Glendale Library, Arts & Culture and ReflectSpace Gallery are pleased to present a solo exhibition by Levon Parian, an award-winning, internationally recognized photographer, whose images live between the philosophy and poetry of the human condition. Parian will exhibit work from his Lost Memories series—the most extensive showing of this work to date. Including both a collection of photographs and a book, this exhibition highlights the way in which time and events effect our individual, familial and collective memory. In the PassageWay gallery, Levon Parian will be showing his photographs of Armenia from the 1990’s—a critical time of transition for the country and a time of new memories for the artist.
Forty-five years ago, Parian found a large collection of his family slides that had been destroyed by a devastating flood. The slides were taken mostly by his father Ben Parian—a self-made and accomplished photography enthusiast. Diasporic and peripatetic, the Parian family moved over a dozen times —from Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, Illinois, New York, and finally to California. The slides cover the whole sweep of Levon’s childhood.
Recognizing the beauty of the “lost” photographs, Parian rescued them and made them into vibrant and color-infused individual images and photographic prints. Coupling the images with texts from his own childhood memories, Parian will also release the work in book form, similarly called “Lost Memories”. In this series Parian investigates the diasporic movement of his family as well as classic questions inherent in the photographic medium, such as ephemerality, preservation and loss, as well as taking the opportunity to reminisce on his personal memories. Parian writes in his book:
“A memory is like a fine thread,
Pull on it gently and you may unravel
the link to a moment
in your mind.
A photograph expands that link.
Like a form of time travel
To those moments only we remember.
Or at least think we remember.”
Levon studied photography at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1977 and attended Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1980. He freelance-assisted for Playboy, Helmut Newton, and Alice Springs for three years before starting his own photography business in 1984. He completed his Master of Fine Art degree in 2008 at California State University, Northridge, where he is currently on the faculty. He lives in California with his wife Maro (an artist of theatre) and two children, Arthur and Sona.
The exhibit will run from October 21, 2022, to January 7, 2023. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, October 22 from 6-8pm where Lost Memories books will be available for sale at the ReflectSpace Gallery.
Co-Curator, Ara Oshagan working with artist Levon Parian