Database of Armenian photo-media practioners

Gagik Tsolaki Nahapetyan

1942 - 2006

1960 - 1990s

Gagik Nahapetyan’s creative aspirations emerged early in his life. After finishing school, he attempted to enter the Panos Terlemezyan Art College. Failing to do so, he apprenticed with the commercial photographer Shant at the latter’s studio in Yerevan. Sometime later, inn 1966, Nahapetyan relocated to Tallinn, Estonia, where he also worked in a general photo-service department.(1) While there, he became closely acquainted with developments in contemporary photographic arts from the Baltic republics, which was strongly dominated by tendencies characteristic of European late-modernism. During his Tallinn years, Nahapetyan sought more personal means of expressing his relationship to reality and began to amalgamate aspects of documentary and subjective photography.

Returning to Yerevan in 1972, the photographer got actively involved with nearly all local periodicals and in particular the journals Garun [Spring], Sovetakan Hayastan [Soviet Armenia] and Hayastani Bnutyun [The Nature of Armenia]. After the collapse of the USSR, Nahapetyan continued to work in his metier as a freelancer.

Regardless of the subject, Nahapetyan’s best works contain great dramatic power. Paying close attention to more ordinary and quotidian motifs, the photographer put his energies towards finding the sublime hidden in the textures of everyday life. Built through stark contrasts, his images aspire to an almost symbolic, outwardly metaphorical condition in which scenes and elements of nature, history and the everyday achieve an epical tonality.

1) See Vahan Kochar, Hay Lusankarichner [Armenian Photographers, in Armenian], self-published, Yerevan, 2007, p.257




USSR, Armenia, ArmSSR




documentary, photo correspondent


analogue photography


Kochar, Vahan. Hay Lusankarichner (in Armenian), self-published, Yerevan, 2007, p.257


Lusadaran Armenian Photography Foundation, Yerevan

Other images by this author