Haroutioun Shamamian was born on August 14, 1951, in Yerevan, Armenia. As the youngest of five children, he enjoyed a vibrant family life, nurtured by his resilient parents who were Armenian Genocide survivors from Kilis and Antep. They found refuge in Aleppo, Syria before repatriating to Yerevan in the late 1940’s during the Soviet campaign to rebuild Armenia. These scarring events, all of which transpired before his birth, were silent undercurrents for Harout, evident in his still lives where the iconic Armenian pomegranate is pronounced, in addition to his intricate stone carvings of the archetypal Armenian khachkar.  

Shamamian was essentially self-taught, obtaining most of his art education during his early teenage years and thru the mentorship of artists such as Yervand Kochar and Minas Avetisyan. Upon high school graduation, Martiros Saryan wrote a recommendation letter on behalf of Haroutioun encouraging the National Art Institute to admit him as a student.  When Haroutioun completed his still life, Pomegranates, Kochar reaffirmed Shamamian’s artistic talent. 

 Haroutioun’s life trajectory shifted as he immigrated to the United States in 1986 with his wife and daughter, reuniting with his siblings who were already living in Los Angeles. As Haroutioun acclimated himself to his new surroundings, he occasionally warmed his artistic muscle, but he primarily focused on providing for his growing family by establishing a family business. 

 In 2018, life changed again for Shamamian when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer, a catalyst for him to create art again. Deviating from his still lifes, Haroutioun found freedom and rebirth in a new wave of painting, in the tradition of abstract expressionism. His bold brush strokes exude an introverted and reflective quality, within a range of jarring, calming, bright, and subdued colors, with lines that seem to lift upward, sideways, and at times, morph into circularity. During this period of heightened creativity, until his death in early 2023, Haroutioun Shamamian painted over 300 canvases with an urgency to leave behind his infallible legacy.