Shanoor’s Artistic Statment:
Shanoor’s artwork stands as a testament to the fortitude and resilience of the human spirit. He was not born in Armenia, not born in the United States– yet, he is both an Armenian and an American. His viewpoint is charged with the immigrant experience— the pressure to assimilate, the universal desire to belong, an acute awareness that these ideas are not mutually exclusive, and in so many ways, they are never fully achievable. He understands there is power in that which is seen as peculiar.
Through his art, Shanoor hopes to access and expand the viewer’s humanity. He uses bright colors and gestural brush strokes to depict vibrant new forms of life that team with magic. His style combines expressionism, pop art, street art and symbolism— at the same time, the art he makes is profoundly unique. By inventing original characters and creating an extraordinary visual landscape, one that is purposefully exotic, he challenges the viewer to step outside of their comfort zone, asking us to confront and overcome unseen prejudices. His artistic practice seeks to cultivate the radical acceptance he wishes for the world.
Pairing his experience with graphic design, photography, digital imaging with his predilection for sculpting, painting, and illustrating, Shanoor developed a signature artistic language which he describes as Neo-Symbolic Expressionism, or Toto Coelo, “extreme conditions.” Shanoor’s Toto Coelo paintings have won numerous awards and have been exhibited internationally.
Shanoor believes empowering the next generation is crucial and that one of the most effective ways to do this is through artistic expression. His paintings shine a necessary spotlight on tragedy and truth, and in doing so, he hopes to bring awareness on the topics of inclusively, respect for others, cultural appreciation, and personal relevance.
Freedom of expression is truly to inform, educate, and bring change or social progress, an integral part of American society.
Shanoor is an American fine artist, designer, CEO, speaker, and Owner of Devarj Design Agency, Inc.
His artistic career began at the tender age of 16 in Beirut, Lebanon, where he lived until 1975 when, because of the Lebanese civil war, he migrated to the United States. As a precocious sixteen-year-old, his work was exhibited in the Armenian Genocide Exhibition in Beirut. That year, his paintings were also accepted at the German Cultural Association for International Children's exhibitions. His work was later featured in the Children's Museum of Armenia (1966), and in a group show at the Musee Sursok (1967). In 1969, Shanoor assisted in sculpting the official portrait bust of The Honorable Sami(Bay) Solh, the Prime Minister of Lebanon, and in 1974, marking an important final achievement in Beirut just before moving to the US, Shanoor participated in a milestone group show at Galerie Contemporaine with Middle Eastern artists Rafic Charaf, Fateh Al Mudarress, and Juliana Serphim.
Following Shanoor's move to Chicago in 1975, he began a career in art direction, branding, and design, Shanoor continued to develop his personal artistic practice. He began experimenting with paintings on a range of new materials, including large un-stretched canvases, shower curtains, and found paper. He held shows at various alternative and traditional art spaces in Miami, California, Chicago, New York, Boston, New Jersey, South Carolina, North Carolina, Missouri, Indiana, Spain, Netherlands, Switzerland, Amsterdam.