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Simon Donikian Biography:

Simon Donikian was born in the city of Constanta, Romania in 1949 of Armenian parents (father Diran Donikian born in Ismir Turkey and mother former name Kiregian also émigré from Kaisely area of Turkey). Both regions were part of old Armenia till Turks invasion in 14th century. He became a member at the local art club at the age of 7 and continued his art education at the High School of Music and Arts in Constanta.  On his own, he started to do copies after Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer and other classic artists. He also started to do his own creations inclined toward semiabstract surrealism.  In 1968, he entered the Institute of Cartographic Design in Bucharest.

After graduating two years later, he immigrated to New York in 1971 with his family consisting of his parents and his older brother.  It was a tough beginning as he was forced to make a hard living yet continue his artistic career on the side. In 1976 marries a Romanian girl who was a collage during the 2 years in Bucharest and a son called Michael is born in 1980   Simon's  brother has a nervous breakdown in1972 (#1) in1982.becomes a shoe repair for 10 years as the situation with the brother was a major concern  sharing a store with the father who was a tailor and the house was on the top floor .The wife takes a job in jewelry company. The marriage suffers and relation become cooler and the wife find an Armenian boyfriend called Garo Shammian (émigré from former Soviet Armenia  ( #2 )  the relationship is kept secret till a love letter is fond in `89 but she apsolultly deny any intimate relation. I also refuse to create a scandal out of this as our son was only 8 years old and that would create an irreparable damage. But a bunch of ugly events as Simon also was also learning to run  a 6fam house one block away from first residence. Father dies in 1985 and shortly after a gang of young Puerto Rican gang start harassing him for reasons I cant explain at the time (#3).  In 2002 the wife quits the job as the relation break up and after few days she starts to confess all the story in writing. after few days I called our son and show him the written confession. Mike was then 22 and had graduated 6 year at Cornell University and somehow mature enough somehow to handle this piece of news followed by divorce.                                                                                                                                                                          In 1985 he chose Queens cityscapes as his major subject and by 1993 he cautiously reincorporated elements of surrealism found in his earlier works. After the divorcr and all other sad events stophaving shows.

Shows: * solo shows / † representation one year

1968      Bucharest, Romania
1969       Constanta, Romania*
1971       Beirut, Lebanon
1975       Lynn Kottler Galleries, New York, USA
1976-80  St Moritz Hotel, New York, (Armenian Students Association)
1988       Cultural Environ, Queens, New York, USA
1989       La Guardia College Gallery, Queens, New York, USA
               Helio Galleries, NYC, USA
               Morin Miller Gallery, NYC, USA  †
1990       Clapp & Tutle Gallery, Woodbery, New Haven, CT, USA †
               Lincoln Saving Bank, NYC, USA *
1991       York Square Cinema Gallery, New Haven, CT, USA
               Old State House, Hartford, CT, USA
               Triplex Gallery (Manhattan Community College)
               BBDO Gallery, NYC, USA *
1992       Monserrat Gallery, NYC, USA
               Manhattan Graphic Center, NYC, USA
               Abney Gallery, NYC, USA †
               World Wide Gallery NYC, USA
               St James Armenian Church, Los Angeles, USA
               Erevan, City Gallery, Armenia *
1994       Puck Building Gallery, NYC, USA
               St. Thomas Armenian Church, New Jersey, USA *
1995-2002  Puck Building Gallery, NYC  (yearly group shows)

2001       Dime Saving Bank of Willamsburgh* New York

Periodicals /  Critic statements / Internet / Books /Artist statements

1968   ``S. Donikian – New Talent" by G. Papagheorghe, Dobrogea Noua newspaper (in Romanian) Romania
1975   ``Trio at Kottler " Park East newspaper, New York
1989   ``Special Image of America" by Joseph Markel in Artspeak bimonthly magazine
``What has happened aesthetically with Donikian is a shift in attention from understanding the general ambience of his urban life scene to becoming more specific. Obviously this is no Hopperesque approach, not even philosophically. It's a new game with new rules, new moods, new emphases."

1989   ``S. Donikian's New America" by Palmer Paroner, Artspeak magazine
1989   ``The Enduring Vision of S.Donikian" by Ed McCormack in Artspeak magazine
1990   ``Donikian Widens His Scope" by E. C. Lipton in Artspeak
1990   Entry in ``The Encyclopedia of Living Artists" in America (fifth edition) Editor Constance Franklin
1990   ``Donikian the Painter of Queens" by Alfred Lubrano of Daily News
``It is this crowded quality of people going about their business that is the main difference between Donikian and another New York City landscape artist to whom he has been compared, Edward Hopper."

1991   ``The Rare Gift of S.Donikian" by Diana Roberts of Manhattan Arts
``Donikian's ability to be figurative without sacrificing art, to be traditional and original at the same time, and to show us what we look at but do not see for ourselves sets him apart as an artist of great sensitivity"

1990   ``S. Donikian an Artist with Great Faith" by J. Zambacian, former director of Zambacian Museum, Bucharest, Romania
1990   ``Local Talent Exercises `Freedom of Choice'" by William Zimmer, New York Times
1991   ``Three Stimulating Artists" Abraham Ilein, Artspeak magazine
1991   ``S. Donikian's workaday world" by Will Grant, Artspeak magazine
1992   ``Abney Gallery Display Innovative Artists" by Meredith Hall in Artspeak
1992   A copy of ``Under the Flushing Line" by Gail F Harre  appears in ``The Cressent" monthly magazine of Valparaiso University, Indiana
1991   Donikian exhibits NYC landscapes Ed. Baschian in Armenian Reporter newspaper
1992   ``Haven for Local Artists" by M. Bazzy in NY Newsday newspaper
1992   Article in Erevan Armenia in Armenian language
1993   Small article in NY Magazine by Paulette Weiss
1993   Painter of Sunnyside by Michael Matthews in Woodside Herald, Queens newspaper
1998   Enters over 100 works in display in his web pages on the internet at

2001 Entry in Allgemeines Kunstler-Lexikon Vol#28, page 555  Leipzic Germany
Entry in ``Outstanding Artists and Designers 21 Century" by International Bio. Center Cambrige, England
Casa Editrice Alba's Entry in Dizionario Enciclopedico Internazionale, Ferrara, Italy
Gets the title of ``Profesor Associated Academician" from Academia ``Greci- Marino del Verbano" Vinzaglio Italy
New York Times's Story about him in City section ``Inspired by Mundane" by Lee Koh (May 13,'01)
Harper's Magazine reproduces in color ``The fall of Superman near Bliss Street station V2" in their fall issue
 40 studends of Prof. Peter Shippy (Emerson College, Boston, MA) writes 40 poems based on ``The fall of

Armenian TV ``Ardzgang" produces a 12 minutes film aired in NY, NJ, CA. and ARMENIA
Queens Tribune publish story ``Queens Through the brush of a Woodsider" writen by Nick Abadjan (nov. 16)

Ararat (Armenian paper prited in Romanian / Bucharest has a one page write up and 3 photos reproduced

 2002 In January,  New York Historical Society and Museum admits one of his works in their permanent collection

2002 In June, The Museum of the City of New York accepts Under the Bliss Street Station (oil on canvas) in their permanent collection, 2005 Brauer Museum of Art vallparaiso University. Indiana 

Works by S. Donikian up to present are in private collections in Europe, USA and Asia