Award-winning artist and printmaker who resurrected the obscure medium of mezzotint, once popular for reproducing Constables and Turners
Two months before his death at the age of 79, the artist Marc Balakjian visited Armenia for the first time to discover his cultural inheritance. His parents had fled to Lebanon from the genocide of Armenia, started by the Turks in 1915. The Armenian diaspora has lived with a sense of unfinished business and injustice ever since, and this history influenced Marc’s work.
He usually used a restricted palette of black and white, whether in small mezzotints or larger drawings and watercolours. His subject matter was enigmatic: a recurring theme was that of anonymous packages tied with knots of rope; sometimes there are prison bars in the background or piles of planks leaning against each other. The images are disturbing in their ambiguity.