The Recreation of the Kachkar

The Recreation of the Kachkar


Fans of intricate sculptures will be pleased to know that plans are now underway to create replicas of The Kachkar. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Kachkar, it is arguably one of the most intricate sculptures ever created. It was over 30 years in the making, and its origins lie in Armenia, where passionate and ambitious artist Hratch Karapetyan began work on a stone carving to memorialize his late father. He soon found that he had got lost in a plethora of ideas, each the more elaborate than the last. The piece he had envisioned grew into much more than initially imagined, and became the most ambitious sculpture ever created. He carved a sculpture that represented the pillars of Christianity: peace, strength, freedom, and infinity, overseen by the Virgin Mary, the mother of all Christians.

Karapetyan’s work left those who saw it in awe. A new project currently being financed via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter aims to recreate his masterpiece. Sculptor Roy W. Butler will be creating a smaller, handmade reproduction of the Kachkar, which will then be copied. ‘There’s no way you can really experience it until you do see the piece in person, and we’re going to try and capture as much of it as we can in the reproduction,’ says Butler.

This campaign is intended to be a means of giving the sculpture to the masses. Whether the replicas will be as ornate at the original remains to be seen. Irrespective of whether or not this is the case, this is doubtlessly an ambitious project that should appeal to every art lover’s sense of challenge.



Yenny Cocq-Bronze Sculptor working in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Yenny Cocq, Bronze Sculptor, Born in Hamburg, Germany, owned gallery in Copenhagen Denmark. Residence and studio in Santa Fe, NM.
Working in figurative sculpture, I am challenged by one of nature’s most complex and beautiful forms the human body. I have refined the human figure to basic and almost geometric forms. I love to use the human form to portray an emotional idea or story. Giving life to my subjects by capturing their innermost emotions, I express my own romantic longings. My romantic couples embody their unique body language and in their unison they display an emergent emotional expression. With simple lines and planes I work to capture the essence of these gestures.
The couples are separate individuals but bound in nonverbal communication. I am intrigued by the minute nuances in shift of posture or angle of the head to convey a different expression”
In addition to creating something visually pleasing, it is my hope that viewers merge their experiences, perceptions and passions reflected in my sculpture with their own. It is my wish to create and provoke something unique for each viewer.

For more information about Yenny or to view her work, please visit:

Giving Life to Stone-An Interview with Sculptor/Painter Valeri Sokolovski

By Alyssa Laube

 valeri 1 (1)  Valeri 3 (1)  

About: Works of art by sculptor and painter Valeri Sokolovski can be found in both private and public spaces around the globe. Sokolovski, who sculpts using stone, wood, and bronze, spent his early years as an artist in Odessa, Ukraine. During that time, he worked as a member of the Union of Artists of the USSR, creating monuments for the government which can still be seen across Europe and Russia. Presently, Valeri is stationed in British Columbia along with his equally artistic and talented son, Rudolf. The impressive father-and-son pair will both be exhibiting their sculptures (and for Valeri, paintings) at this year’s Art World Expo.

Valeri 2 (1)

Did being born in Ukraine influence your decision to become a sculptor?

I was born in the Ukraine but I spent all of my childhood in Kazakhstan, so I started my art education there. It was later on that I moved to Odessa and continued my studies there.

 How did you get the position with the Union of Artists, creating government-commissioned monuments?

After completing my studies, I actively participated in fine art exhibitions locally and internationally, which allowed me to submit my credentials for consideration. The process was long, and to become an officially recognized artist of the USSR, you must be reviewed by several committees in at least three cities. After I received this title, I began to work as an artist for the government, which was the only way you could receive commissions and get work. There were all types of commissions for monuments, and lot of them were for war memorials to commemorate fallen soldiers or heroes.

Did going to art school improve you as an artist?

It did not improve me, it taught me. Schools were serious; They made us professional artists, not amateurs or dilettantes. In total, I spent almost a decade studying.

Where can fans in Vancouver see your work?

I have several public art projects in the Lower Mainland, including a seven-foot marble statue in Surrey City Hall and a granite monument at the BC Museum of Mining. I just finished a joint exhibition at a Gastown gallery with my son, Rudolf, and I have a few shows coming up next month as well.

What is your goal with each sculpture you make?

To satisfy my own creativity and to create something that brings pleasure to the audience.

Why do you love to sculpt?

Because I see in art, not just sculpture or painting. In all of art, I see beauty, and that beauty satisfies me. I have chosen sculpture and painting as my specific forms of expression and devoted myself completely to them.

Why do you like sculpting women, or the human body in general?

In art, the human form is the most beautiful thing that exists. And a woman is special. She is like a mystery that you want to solve.

Valeri 8 (1)

Many of your works feature women with children. Why are you fascinated by motherhood?

Motherhood inspires me because it is the continuation of life. It is nature and the beginning of everything.

How would you describe your painting style?

That’s a good question, and I don’t have a clear answer for you. There are different elements in my paintings, including cubism and linear expressionism.

How does painting compare to sculpting for you?

What you can express in sculpture you cannot express in painting, and vice versa. The two compliment each other.

Which materials do you like to use best when creating a sculpture?

I like working in wood and other materials but I really love stone, especially marble. I see it as a force that needs to be conquered. With block of stone, you have to look deep inside to see what is alive in there. Then, you have to bring it out and make it live.

Valeri 5  (1)

See more of Valeris work at this years Art World Expo or:

The Power of the Female Form-Rudolf Sokolovski

An Interview with Rudolf Sokolovski

by Alyssa Laube 


About: Rudolf Sokolovski is a talented sculptor whose work is influenced by linear expressionism, the female form, and those he admires. Rudolf specializes in portraying the subjects of his portraits as a fusion of their physicality and spirituality, striking a fragile balance between the two and making his work impactful and unique. To learn more about Rudolf and his work, visit:


Q: You define your art as “Tectonics and Linear Expressionism”. Can you explain what this means in simpler terms, and how your work fits into this genre?

 A: Linear Expressionism refers to rhythmic lines and the flow of forms to express emotion. I believe the father of this style is a French artist by the name of Jean Claude. Some of my pieces do have clear linear elements, but to say all my compositions fall under this style would be inaccurate. In any case, the type of style my artwork falls under is not important to me. What is important is that I am able to express my energy and feelings in my compositions.

Q: When you create a portrait, would you say that it’s more a product of the subject physically, or personally?

A: I like sculpting interesting faces, ones that have character. The physical structure of a face helps make an interesting portrait but ultimately it’s the personality that drives character.

Creating true portraits is an intimate affair, and also a very difficult one to do correctly. Sculpting a portrait that looks like the person is not hard, but capturing the person’s true essence is very hard to do. I’ve destroyed a number of finished portraits because I didn’t think the composition portrayed the person in the right way.


Q: Has your work helped you to understand people better, or in a new way?

A: I tend to look at people somewhat differently. My mind is always studying structure, movement, and gesture when I look at and talk to people, and this helps me in creating my art. I don’t know if it has helped me understand people better, as half the time I’m trying to understand myself, but I pay a lot of attention to body language because I find it’s a truer form of expression than speaking.

Q: In your About page, you mentioned that you’ve been inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Che Guevara. Who do you look up to the most in your current life and why?

A: The people that inspire me have lived a pure life and worked to achieve greatness in their own right, be it composers, athletes, or artists. My father, Valeri, inspires me greatly. He is truly one of the great masters, and I’m very excited that we will be exhibiting together.


Q: Is your interest in Gandhi and Che a reflection of your spiritual and political beliefs?

A: Gandhi and Che are both remarkable individuals. They are such polar opposites in their personality and means, but ultimately they are both a symbol of freedom. My whole life I’ve been searching for the meaning of freedom. It’s something in my blood; something that has been passed down to me.

Q: Can you explain what you mean when you speak of the power of women, and what it means to you both personally and artistically?

A: Some will say that we live in a man’s world. But whether or not you want to admit it, the fact of the matter is that women are the driving force of evolution. It is a Yin-Yang relationship, two moving parts. Take women out of the equation and life becomes meaningless.

We are part biological and part spiritual beings. Aesthetically, the beauty of the female form is unparalleled; the gentleness of every bend and curve, the gracefulness of her flow. Human beings are visual creatures.

Carve or Starve!-An Interview with Jesse Toso

About: Jesse Toso, born and raised here in British Columbia, is a talented woodcarver whose tool of choice is equally impressive: a chainsaw! To see some of Jesse’s extraordinary work, go to:




The first time you carved was at a competition in 2005, at which you took first prize in the Amateur category! What motivated you to take part in the competition, and did you have a feeling that you would be a natural?

I grew up in Campbell River where the Transformations on the Shore Chainsaw Carving Competition has been taking place since 1997 and I remember looking at the amazing carvings produced at the event each year and I thought to myself: “I could do that”.  So,  I borrowed a chainsaw and hacked away at this giant piece of Douglas fir and by the end of the week, I had shaped out a Phoenix. After taking home the $1000 prize, I decided to do it every year after. This year will be my tenth!


Why do you prefer to work with a chainsaw, rather than other tools? 

Chainsaws are fast.  

In your opinion, how does the type of wood influence the final carving? 

The type of wood I use influences the final carving immensely.  The colour, the size/shape, the grain are all contributing factors.  Sometimes I look at a piece of wood and determine what to carve based on it’s shape and type, and other times I will want to carve something and look for a piece of wood that will work, but ultimately it is the wood’s inherent qualities and characteristics which influences the final carving.

What did you do for a living before wood carving entered your life? Do you think you will continue to wood carve for the rest of your career? 

I am a carpenter by trade as is my dad so working with wood comes to me naturally.  I will continue to keep carving wood, but I am also interested in exploring the artistic relationship(s) between other building materials, namely: glass, metal and concrete.  And I’ve always wanted to try carving ice.

What is the best part of working in wood carving?

Wood is a beautiful, natural, and quite versatile.  And it’s sustainable.

How have you improved over the years? 

I improve every time I carve. Going to annual carving events such as the competition in Campbell River and Carva-Palooza (an annual chainsaw carver’s convention in Ontario) has also been a huge boost.  I hope to continue improving with every carve.

What do you consider your most difficult piece? How about your favorite one? 

I would say the 16-foot spider hanging on the side of a building in downtown Campbell River was my most challenging and my favourite, too.  It involved creative engineering, 3D visualization, chainsaw joinery, and it was done in five days (as a part of the carving competition).  Also, it caused a bit of controversy.  People wrote into the local newspaper asking it be taken down as they have arachnophobia and could no longer go to the theatre because of the giant wood spider overhead!  Other people then responded in defence of the spider, and it so had people talking in Campbell River.  Which is what art should do, right? I have since carved several spiders and I will be bringing a “smaller” 8-foot version to Art World Expo.

You’ve worked on a variety of different sculptures, mainly focusing on animals. Do you prefer to use nature for your inspiration and how come? 

I am drawn to curvy, smooth, rounded, flowing shapes such as octopus legs, dragons, or the neck of a heron, and so find myself carving such shapes.  It happens that most things with these characteristics are from nature.

How has working first-hand with nature changed your relationship with it? 

Trees are precious. I am honored and humbled when I carve into wood that had once been a tree that had been standing for hundreds of years. I feel I need to use every bit of the wood I am carving.  Many of my carvings are from off-cuts from other carvings. 

Do you think that wood carving differs from other forms of art? How so? 

All art is expression. Carving wood with chainsaws is just another way for me to say: “Look what I can do!”

Do you have any advice for beginners in the field? 

Carve or starve! 


Have you ever done a collaborative piece? If not, would you like to? 

I have done several collaborative pieces.  As a part of Carva-Palooza, one of the several carvings we do is made with a partner. Actually, this year I will be leading a group project (at Carva-Palooza) where eight of us will carve a complete chess set out of logs. I am really excited to see how this turns out.