Hagop Sandaldjian

Male, Person

1931 –


Who is Hagop Sandaldjian?

Hagop Sandaldjian was an Egyptian-born Armenian American musician and microminiature sculptor, best known for his tiny art pieces displayed at the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles, California. Sandaldjian's creations included a carving of Mount Ararat on a grain of rice; a crucifix in which a minute golden figure of Jesus hangs upon a cross made from a bisected strand of Sandaldjian's own hair; and recreations of Disney figures or historical figures presented in the eye or on the tip of a needle.

Sandaldjian was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and went to the Soviet Union to study music in Yerevan, Armenia and in Moscow. He became a violinist, and taught music at a conservatory in Yerevan. In the early 1970s he learned about the art of microminiature from one of his students, Eduard Ghazaryan. Sandaldjian emigrated to the United States in 1980, but was required to leave behind his first collection of 18 miniature works. Over the next decade, he produced another 33 miniatures.

Working extremely slowly under a microscope, Sandaldjian employed self-made tools such as sharpened needles tipped with ruby or diamond dust, compiling his sculptures out of minuscule materials such as dust, lint, and hair. Even among the few practitioners of microminiature art, Sandaldjian was unusual in that he painted his work, using a single sharpened strand of hair as a brush. Sandaldjian would time his motions to come between his heartbeats, thus maximizing his control of his fingers. Those who saw Sandaldjian at work said that they could not tell when his hands moved.

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on July 23, 2013


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