Born in 1948, Yuzbasiyan is a Canadian of Armenian descent who
emigrated from Istanbul, his birthplace, to Canada in 1973 and
settled in Toronto. He has learned to capture on paint the small
communities within the larger cities to remind us about the
beauty and universality of the urban experience.
Although he has worked in New York, Paris, Montreal and Quebec
City, Yuzbasiyan is at his best when rendering the City of Toronto.
His paintings are organized around street views; it is the road -
its placement and topography - that provides the internal logic of
his works. The usual point of view is that of people walking or
driving through the city either in a snowstorm, rain or sunny days.
Yuzbasiyan’s works depicting the Cabbagetown homes of Toronto
and the snowy winter farms from southwestern Ontario have
earned him a special place within the contemporary artists of
Canada. What makes his work special and meaningful is its focus
on the “out of the way”. Quiet downtown corners where life is
carried on harmoniously, with little or no effort, have become the
focus of his art. The inhabitants go about their business
unaware, hurrying home in a winter storm or waiting for one of
Yuzbasiyan’s ever-present streetcars to arrive.
Yuzbasiyan’s city scenes depicting the hustle and bustle of the
transit system in Toronto are among the most favoured by
collectors. His Montreal scenes are rare and sought after.
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