Sevag Mahserejian: Aleatoric
LA-based artist Sevag Mahserejian masters a multitude of media throughout his enchanting body of work. though he covers a wide range of themes, the consistent presence of illustrated figures + symbols, first brought to life in the artist’s childhood, ties many of his pieces together. Aleatoric, his upcoming solo exhibit at substrate gallery on Saturday, september 22 + sunday, september 23, will feature 30 artworks. we caught up with him about the inspiration behind his current work + what we can expect to see at the show.
// a selection of work by Sevag Mahserejian:
Asymmetric Magazine: Tell us about your current work.
Sevag Mahserejian: My most recent works have intertwined paper, wood, and canvas. It all started with a series on paper that resonated well with the quick illustrations I create on the go. There is a specific style that has followed me from childhood: these skinny figures that are only given life with a few abrupt strokes. These characters and symbols show up in most of my artwork. The ideas that worked well on paper graduated onto wood panels and canvas interchanging aerosol, paper, charcoal, and layers of acrylic.
AM: What can we expect to see at your solo show Aleatoric?
SM: Aleatoric came about from the idea to not limit myself to any one theme. I created what I wanted to and elaborated on ideas without restraint to any one source of inspiration. In this free form orchestration with no pre-meditated common ground, I looked to the style utilized to draw a bridge in connecting the collection of artwork. There is always a sense of playfulness in my work; I like to keep my eyes entertained. I often find myself up close to the canvas picking up on minor details, hidden phrases beneath layers of paint, and illustrations that can only be viewed from an intimate distance. Perhaps it derives from having poor vision and needing glasses, or maybe it’s just fun to discover something new each time you peer at the artwork. Aleatoric will feature 30 artworks created on paper and an additional handful of art created on wood and canvas.
AM: We love your wide range of media. What's your process like for choosing materials for your pieces?
SM: I love learning. I often find myself being captivated by a new medium, becoming obsessed, and diving head first into experimenting with it. I believe fusing multiple interests along with mediums is the only way to give birth to something new. It isn’t an easy process, nor is it a fun feeling, but I often look for that overwhelming stage to highlight a lesson worth learning.
AM: What themes do you typically pursue in your work?
SM: My themes follow an ever-growing list of interests and curiosities. I’m captivated by travel, culture, nature, myths, science, writing, humor, and history. Besides reading and constantly listening to podcasts, I draw upon my own experience in psychology, theatre, and the Armenian culture with its vast history and richness in the arts. Throughout Aleatoric there is a lot of reference to the relationship between bees and mycelium, pre-Christian pagan symbolism from Armenia, chess, women, and personal poetry–just to allude to a few.
AM: What role does Los Angeles play on your work?
SM: I was born and raised in LA. I was fortunate enough to have both my private household, vibrant and overflowing with art and music, as well as the outside world full of idols and differentiating view points. As an artist, it has nurtured my perspective, taste, and drive. My work ethic, playfulness, and passion to create is my way of ensuring the opportunity to showcase my artwork isn’t wasted.
AM: We know you have some murals + installations around the city, too. Where can we find your work?
SM: I completed a set of murals for the Los Angeles Unified School District which can be seen at the Capistrano Elementary campus in West Hills. Another installation/mural was created for the Meat District restaurant in Pasadena. Every year I create installation pieces, which tend to be more temporary. The locations have included the Angel City Brewery, LA Mart, Wynn Resort, and various locations throughout Downtown LA’s art walk.
AM: What music are you currently jamming to?
SM: My current playlist has revolved around Anderson Paak, Adagio in G Minor, Gorillaz, and Jamiroquai.
AM: What can we expect to see from you next after the show?
SM: After wrapping up Aleatoric, I’ll definitely continue working on more installation pieces along with my work on canvas. I’m hoping to present a self-curated group show in the near future.
See more of Sevag’s work at artofsev.com.