6 Questions for Pierre and Cedric Koukjian on How Ancient Philosophy and Aesop’s Fables Inform Their Large-Scale Sculptures

The father and son artists have homed in on their signature style to undertake increasingly monumental works.

Pierre and Cedric Koukjian, Xlink (2022). Installed in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Since 2017, father and son artist duo Pierre and Cedric Koukjian have been working within the same design studio, Since Geneva, collaborating on increasingly daring sculptural projects, all of which are made in-house—from initial sketch to monumental steel creation. Recognized for motifs such as links of chain and from the natural world, their work, and meticulous craftsmanship have garnered an avid following.

Material experimentation and working at a variety of scales—from the diminutive to the colossal—has led the duo to increasingly avant-garde projects, including the ongoing “liaison” series and installing their work in new places around the world. With these new installations, their work has drawn the attention of a distinct class of collectors who resonate with their exciting, post-industrial aesthetic that maintains an emphasis on hand craftsmanship.

We reached out to Cedric and Pierre to learn more about their collectors and two of their more recent, monumental sculptures.

Left: Cedric Koukjian. Right: Pierre Koukjian.

As the founders of Since Fine Art, what are some of the ways you connect and engage with collectors or prospective collectors?

In the contemporary digital landscape, establishing a robust online presence is paramount. To achieve this, we actively participate on various social media platforms. These platforms serve as conduits for sharing our portfolio, connecting with our dedicated followers, and extending our reach to potential collectors worldwide. Moreover, we cultivate partnerships with specialized art galleries that align with our artistic style and medium. These collaborative relationships serve as a bridge, introducing our work to their well-established collector communities. Additionally, we place a strong emphasis on nurturing our connections within the art community. We actively participate in art-related gatherings, and engage in meaningful dialogues with fellow artists, collectors, and industry experts, ensuring that we remain well-informed and closely connected.

Pierre and Cedric Koukjian, Liaison (2022), installed in Faqra, Lebanon.

Our collector base exhibits several intriguing commonalities and shared motivations. One prominent trend we’ve observed is that many of our collectors already possess extensive collections featuring well-known artists and established names in the art world. However, they are now seeking to complement their existing collections with contemporary and emerging artists, such as ourselves. One unifying factor among our collectors is their profound appreciation for the meaning and narrative behind each piece of art. While aesthetic value is undoubtedly important, our collectors often delve deeper, seeking the stories and emotions embedded within the artworks. This penchant for art with substance reflects their desire to engage intellectually and emotionally with the pieces they acquire. Additionally, our collector base tends to comprise independent and empowered individuals, often leaning toward women who exude a strong sense of individuality and decision-making prowess. These collectors value art as a means of self-expression and empowerment, and they are drawn to works that resonate with their unique tastes and perspectives.

 

For collectors first discovering your work, what is something you’d like them to know?

When collectors first encounter our work, we want them to be aware of the meticulous attention to detail that goes into every piece we create. We believe in meticulously cataloging the entire journey of our artworks, from their initial conception as sketches to the final, finished pieces. This includes documenting the entire hand-manufacturing process, which highlights our commitment to craftsmanship and authenticity. Moreover, it’s essential for collectors to understand that every piece in our collection is the result of extensive research, both in terms of aesthetics and meaning. We don’t just create art for its visual appeal; we invest considerable effort in imbuing each piece with depth and significance. This means that every artwork carries a story, a message, or a unique perspective that we’ve carefully crafted to enrich the collector’s experience. In essence, we want collectors to know that when they acquire one of our pieces, they are not just purchasing art; they are acquiring a piece of our creative journey, a testament to our commitment to craftsmanship, and an opportunity to engage with art that has been meticulously designed and infused with both aesthetic and intellectual depth.”

Pierre and Cedric Koukjian, Sprout (2022). Installed in Geneva, Switzerland.

Frequently, the works produced by Since Fine Art are monumental in scale, such as Sprout and Liaison. Can you expand a bit on how you create these works from a technical standpoint? How are they made?

Sprout: This artwork embodies the powerful concept of rebirth and hope through the visual representation of a plant sprouting. The act of a seedling pushing its way through the soil toward the light serves as a universal symbol of growth and renewal. The deliberate choice of stainless steel as the medium reinforces the idea of strength and durability which is essential for both growth and enduring hope.

 

Liaison: This artwork takes on the concept of unity and strength through its depiction of a chain. The symbolism of unity as an unbreakable bond between individuals or entities is elegantly conveyed through the choice of a chain made of hand-hammered stainless steel.  The chain, typically composed of interlinked components, symbolizes the interconnectedness of individuals and the strength that arises from collaboration and mutual support. The fact that each link is created by hand, showcasing the artisan’s skill and effort, reinforces the idea that unity is not a mere concept but a deliberate, meaningful effort.

Pierre and Cedric Koukjian, Liaison (2022), installed in Faqra, Lebanon.

Are there any artists or movements—contemporary or historical—that you feel have influenced your work the most?

In our artistic journey, we draw inspiration from a blend of contemporary and historical sources that have profoundly shaped our creative vision. Two of the monumental pieces we were discussing, Sprout and Liaison, reflect these influences in unique ways:

 

Sprout is a testament to the timeless appeal of abstract art that has its roots in ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia and the Phoenicians. These ancient cultures often created offerings and intricate decoration items with abstract forms, imbuing them with profound symbolism. In Sprout, we channel this rich heritage by visualizing the concept of rebirth and hope through the representation of a plant sprouting. This theme resonates across cultures, and the deliberate choice of stainless steel as the medium symbolizes both strength and endurance, qualities essential for growth and enduring hope.

 

Liaison, on the other hand, draws inspiration from multiple sources. One of these sources is the timeless wisdom of Aesop’s Fable The Bundle of Sticks, which underscores the strength that arises from unity. This concept is further enriched by the principles of Marcus Aurelius’ Stoicism, emphasizing inner strength and resilience. In Liaison, we manifest this idea through the depiction of a chain, traditionally composed of interlinked components. This chain symbolizes the interconnectedness of individuals and entities, highlighting the strength that emerges from collaboration and mutual support. The fact that each link is meticulously handcrafted underscores the deliberate effort behind unity, reflecting the meaningful essence of these influences.

In both Sprout and Liaison, we pay homage to the rich tapestry of artistic history and philosophy that has influenced our work. Our pieces are not just sculptural representations; they are an embodiment of timeless concepts and symbolism that transcend time and culture, inviting viewers to contemplate the profound meanings hidden within.

Pierre and Cedric Koukjian, Liaison (2022), installed in Geneva, Switzerland.

Can you talk about what you are working on now, or hope to work on next?

We are constantly working on new pieces whether they are monumental sculptures or small ones. We currently have a multitude of projects going on at the same time and we are quite overwhelmed by the interest and orders of our collectors.

 

Learn more about the artists here.


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