On the week of Valentine's Day, allow us to profess our enormous crush on Zarina Karapetyan, a Dallas-based visual artist whose textured abstract sculptures and paintings are powerfully ethereal, enigmatic, modern and refined — like the artist herself. Naturally, we had to learn everything about her.
Tell me one album you’d feel confident recommending to absolutely anyone.
High Violet by The National
What’s one thing you’ve yet to master or accomplish?
How to finish and focus on one book at a time. I start three or four books at once and just stack them up.
What project are you most excited about right now?
I have a solo show coming up on April 10th, at Muse Gallery. I’m very excited for the collection of work and projects that will be exhibited there.
Who’s your woman crush in the arts?
So many babes out there in the Dallas art scene, but Lesli Marshall of Articulation Art, Charli Miranda of Muse Gallery and Sarah Reyes of Exploredinary are my biggest crushes.
What are some thoughts that obsess you? And some that delight you?
Once I have an idea, I can become really obsessive about it until I get it done. But, the thought of getting to work on that idea delights me at the same time. I believe they go hand in hand.
When are you truly satisfied with your work?
There comes a moment when enough time has passed after completing a piece and I can look at it later. Then, I know I’m truly satisfied with the work when I can still feel the same joy and emotional response that I experienced when I first made the piece.
What’s your favorite thing in the arts community?
My favorite thing in the arts community is how kind and supportive everyone is. So many incredible artists and people who are working together to bring something special to Dallas.
What's your oddest habit?
I go through crazy hummus phases for a few weeks. I’ll just get oddly addicted to eating hummus and eat it every day.
What’s your favorite spot in Dallas?
I love going to the Nasher Museum on a sunny day. It’s so wonderful to sit on the lawn, soak up the sun and enjoy the magic of the space.
What about in the world?
My favorite spot in the world would be a particular field in Iceland. It’s filled with magic, ice, moss and mountains in the distance. Absolutely incredible.
What's your biggest pet peeve on social media?
I’m all for social media, but definitely my biggest frustration would be the algorithm.
What historical moment do you wish you could’ve witnessed?
The day they built Stonehenge or the pyramids. Would love to know how they built those things.
Do you have any unpopular opinions?
Staying up late is not cool, we need to be getting more sleep.
Tell me an art movement you would’ve joined if you’d only lived in that time and place.
I would've joined the impressionist movement in a heartbeat. The joy I experience of being alone in nature, painting, trying to capture the light and energy of the world is so beautiful. The connection I feel with those artists is deeply rooted in my psyche.
What’s an unusual source of inspiration for you?
I get very inspired by being active. I love boxing, yoga and quick runs around the city. All the ideas that I have been working on in my head, magically figure themselves out and come together. I get so much energy and inspiration by the breathing, observing the textures around me, or the sound of the boxing glove hitting the bag.
Tell me the last song you looked up — especially if it's embarrassing.
Oh, I definitely just looked up Elon Musk’s new song, "Don’t Doubt Ur Vibe."
What was happening the last time you felt like your life was incredible?
I was alone in the middle of Iceland, painting a mountain, listening to the sounds of glacier ice. I watched the sky change and the light shift around the landscape for hours. Definitely the most incredible moment of my life. Few things have compared to the power and beauty of that day.
Tell me something that bothers you for no good reason.
Loud sounds in the morning and not having coffee creamer for my coffee when I wake up.
Would you rather be able to plan your last words or your last meal?
I would rather plan my last words — not sure what they’ll be yet.
In what aspect of your life are you most stylish, outside of your art?
I love hosting and cooking beautiful dinners for people. So much joy comes out of having a little party in the studio, eating delicious food and dressing up.
What profession would you want to attempt only for one day?
I’d like to be the president for a day, read all the secret files and then go back to the studio.
What's your favorite invention? What is yet to be invented?
My favorite invention would have to be fancy coffee makers and computers.
I look forward to the day when they invent a robot that can clean all my paint brushes for me.
Which movie (or series) would you like to be trapped in?
Harry Potter for sure, I’m ready for a wand and proper potions class.
What work of art best represents your personality?
My Portals collection best represents my personality. Part of me is soft and elusive. The other side of me is intense and energetic.
What would someone assume about your personal life if they went through your internet search history?
I get a kick out of reading conspiracy theories online. I also get sucked into Wikipedia articles of alien and ancient civilizations. Can’t help it, what can you do?
What are some things you do that make you feel like a good citizen?
I pick up litter everywhere I go. It’s important to leave places cleaner than you found it!
What’s the greatest thing you’ve created?
This life I’m living. Very grateful for it.
What’s your biggest cause?
Helping people become more empowered and in touch with their creative side. Making art can be a healing and joyful experience.
Name the smallest thing that makes you happy.
Sunny days and long showers.
What’s one random subject that you have so much knowledge in that you could write a book?
Stolen art from World War II and all the hidden art around Europe. Waiting for the day Netflix gives me a show to go find all of it in caves and castles.
What question do you love to be asked?
“Tell me about this piece.”
And what’s the answer?
“It’s about the beginning of life and entering the light.”