Oral history interview with Jirayr Zorthian, 1997 January 28-July 9
Zorthian, Jirayr, 1912-2004
Karlstrom, Paul J., 1941-
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript 90 pages.
Originally recorded on 5 sound cassettes. Reformated in 2010 as 8 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 41 min.
An interview of Jirayr Zorthian conducted 1997 January 28-July 9, by Paul J. Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, at Zorthian's home and studio, in Fair Oaks, California.
Zorthian describes his property, Art Ranch, and its meaning to him; his personal and educational background, including studying at Yale; early mural work and his inspiration to move west; settling in Altadena, California in 1945; his description of his property as "The Center for Research and Development of Industrial Discards with Emphasis on Aesthetics"; bohemianism and his desire to stay free of conventions of work; friendships with artists and socially prominent people.
He discusses a profile of him in L.A. Weekly, by Dave Gardetta; his antipathy towards galleries and his "outsider" relationship to the artworld; his recent nude drawings and paintings, the Jennifer Series, and his views the work illustrates social themes and celebration of the body; and his self-concept as an artist and perceptions of him and his work.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Jirayr Zorthian, 1997 January 28-July 9. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Jirayr Zorthian (1911-2004) was a painter from California.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators. Funding for the transcription of this interview provided by Pasadena Art Alliance
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001