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Megerditch Tarakdjian – a doctor and an artist

After becoming a successful practitioner of family medicine, did Tarakdjian again find time to return to his love of painting and sculpting.

Dr. Megerditch Tarakdjian, of Armenian descent, was born in Syria and has been living in Montreal since 1982. At a very young age he developed a passion for painting and went on to study at the Saryan Academy of Arts in Aleppo, Syria. However, his parents did not believe he could earn a living as an artist and persuaded him to instead pursue a career in science.

PanARMENIAN.Net - Only years later, after becoming a successful practitioner of family medicine, did Tarakdjian again find time to return to his love of painting and sculpting. Completing the painting of a number of serene landscapes and still lifes, one day the doctor noticed an empty space atop his piano.

He filled the void by producing his first sculpture, which was a study of a musician. For the last 15 years, he has been sculpting ever since.

I became acquainted with Tarakdjian in January through Berge Missakian, an accomplished artist living in Montreal West. In the years that I was writing a weekly art column for The Suburban, I had reviewed Missakian’s exhibitions and a book that he authored. Missakian informed me that his friend, the doctor, was thinking of publishing a book of his art and asked if I would be willing to write the preface. I informed Missakian that I would only do it if I felt the artwork merited it.

I examined Tarakdjian’s sculptures at an art gallery in which they were displayed and then visited him at his home in the Town of Mount Royal, where I observed many other pieces in his studio.

Over coffee and pastry, Tarakdjian told me; “Producing art is of paramount importance to me. It offers me a great amount of joy, not only as a hobby but rather an ongoing devotion to transcribe my ideas and feelings into the visual form of art,” he explained, adding, “This process provides a much sought after sense of serenity at the end of a working day charged with considerable stress.”

Tarakdjian has executed a number of distinguished sculptural portraits. Some of important historical figures, others of friends and acquaintances. Among them is a bust of author William Saroyan, former Vietnam Education Minister Pham Hoàng Hô, painter Archil Gorky and local philanthropist Yervant Pastermadjian.

The talent of Tarakdjian extends itself well beyond these portraits. I was touched with his ability to capture a moment in time about everyday human experiences. Tarakdjian credits his profession for teaching him to better understand and reflect on the different elements of the human condition. The doctor believes that art is part of the healing experience.

Whether it’s the closeness of mother and child, an embrace or quarrel between lovers, or a group of exhilarating musicians and dancers, Tarakdjian captures all of them with a sense of movement and vitality emphasized by his use of free flowing elongated lines. His sculptures in sketchy forms with the absence of facial and other details intrigue as they leave the completion of the figures to the imagination of the viewer.

Running the full gamut of emotions, Tarakdjian also tackles some serious and somber issues. Powerful is Calamity, a memorial to those who died begging for survival during the Armenian Genocide.

The doctor’s sculptures pass examination with a perfect bill of health.

By Bernard Mendelman

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