Visual Artist: Photographer
Diana has been involved with the art world for many years, with varying interests. In 2009 she turned to photography, with an eye toward transforming the ordinary everyday acts and objects, overlooked by most, into what she considers “the extraordinary”. Artist Ann Marshall described the work as “photos used in a most abstract way”.
Diana’s work is all about creativity. Many of her shots are snapped from a moving vehicle, capturing fleeting moments. Though Diana has won several awards for her photography, she will tell you that the camera is simply her tool and imperfections are very much part of her art. One of her biggest fans, her daughter Karyn, described her mother as “an artist with an idiosyncratic perception” and “it’s a discerning eye that makes Diana the person and artist she is”. Warren Allen said “it all seems to hinge on your powers of observation”, adding “if I understand correctly, the photograph of the composition, rather than the composition itself, is the thing”.
In terms of art form, Diana’s art can be called minimalistic, new realism and abstract expressionism. Whether working in black and white or in very vivid and contrasting colors, one can often detect the negative spaces in her art that speak of solitude. Artist Rolf Goelitz said “Diana’s abstracts invite you to dive in and meditate, reflect and think about the simple beauty of color”. “Bold, colorful, graphic, mildly erotic but tasteful … wonderfully didactic” said artist and musician Richard Bohn. And Tracy Dukes, former Associate Professor of Design Department at Cal State Long Beach, said “what you have accomplished in your color field renditions stands in my mind as art. You are proactive and comfortable in your own skin … if you hadn’t told me your means of production I’d never have imagined. To your credit the pieces stood on their own, and indeed, they were stunning”.
Others have described Diana’s photography as “simple design and calmness of the forms” (Terez Bassenian). But Lawrence Christon, former Los Angeles Times staff writer, had a different take: “seeing some of Diana’s work, all reflected a restless intelligence, a curious outward-looking eye, a blend of I’ll see what this is later”
To sum up, Georgeanna Ireland, owner of Ethos Art Gallery in Newport Beach said “you write poetry with your art” and artist/photographer Alejandro Lopez said “congratulations on your success! You deserve it for elevating the level of the Orange County Modern Art”.
Finally, a little about Diana’s background: Born in Iran to Armenian parents, Diana was schooled in France, England and Austria and lived in France for several years prior to making Irvine, California her home. Speaking eight languages, Diana still considers herself a citizen of the world. In addition to creating photography, Diana has owned and run her consignment art gallery in Irvine, California since 2012. Her approach to photography is similar to her approach to art: She looks for what moves her and scavenges art from wherever she can find it, regardless of the artist’s reputation or pedigree. In 2020, she also started curating the art exhibits at Bistango Restaurant in Irvine, continuing in the dedication to the Arts set by her late husband, John Ghoukassian. Artwork by her listed artists can also be viewed and purchased on her France-based web store, Artprice.com/store/dianas-finds.
Diana has shown her art at UCI – University of California, the Newport Beach Cutural Art where she won a second place (2016 and a first place (2018) Bistango Restaurant, and at The Orange County Fairgrounds , The Huntington Beach Art Center, Las Laguna Gallery, the Susi Q. Art Center, the Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA) in Santa Ana and a solo show at the Newport Beach Main Library from November 2, 2018 to January 4, 2019