Munich-based David Ambarzumjan is known for his surreal landscape paintings that depict two distinct time periods on one canvas. His ongoing series, titled Brushstrokes in Time, sees present-day scenes with giant, contrasting brushstrokes that sweep through the composition and act as a portal to a previous time. “This collection,” Ambarzumjan explains, “showcases how both the force of nature and humanity shaped our planet in sometimes beautiful but also devastating ways.”
While his previous paintings illustrate the past, Ambarzumjan’s latest works explore future, post-apocalyptic realities. In one painting, titled Recover, the outer edges of the canvas depict a rainy city at night. However, Ambarzumjan’s signature, central brushstroke contains a world where nature has taken back control. A family of deer are depicted thriving in a green terrain, where plants and trees have taken over buildings and roads. In another work, titled Zebra Crossing, a dark, urban scene is interrupted by a glimpse of a post-societal world. A lone zebra crosses where a city pedestrian crossing once was.
Whether he’s looking to the past or imagining the present, Ambarzumjan’s paintings celebrate our resilient planet's diversity. He tells My Modern Met, “The nature around us is so colorful yet different wherever we are on this planet. It’s hard to believe that all this originated from nothing but dust in outer space.”
Check out some paintings from the Brushstrokes in Time series below and find more from Ambarzumjan’s portfolio on his website.