"Sometimes when I paint, I feel myself very much like a cook, but instead of using salt, pepper, onions, and garlic, my ingredients are color, content, composition, style, etc. And although people do have different tastes, most would agree that too much salt or pepper could ruin a dish."
was born in the city of Constanta, Romania in 1949 of Armenian parents. He
became a member at the local art club at the age of 7 and continued his art
education at the High School of Music and Arts in Constanta. On his own, he
started to do copies after Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer and other classic artists.
He also started to do his own creations inclined toward semi-abstract surrealism.
In 1968, he entered the Institute of Cartographic Design in Bucharest.
After graduating two years later, he immigrated to New York in 1971 with his family consisting of his parents and his older brother. It was a tough beginning as he was forced to make a hard living yet continue his artistic career on the side. In 1980, he returned to Romania but it was impossible to readjust and he eventually came back to New York in 1982.
In 1985 he chose Queens cityscapes as his major subject and by 1993 he cautiously reincorporated elements of surrealism found in his earlier works. In February of 1998 he launched his own website on the Internet and bought the domain www.donikian.com later on. He has had over 45 shows and several entries in different publications including an entry in Allgemeines Kunstler Lexikon, the New York Times and Harper's Magazine. Currently he has works in the permanent collections of the New York Historical Society and Museum and the Museum of the City of New York. (see image from ``recent acqusitions )He has one son, Michael, 22, who is a graduate student at Cornell University.