Armen Eloyan

Armen Eloyan was born in 1966 in Armenia. Growing up in Soviet Armenia, Eloyan cites cartoons from East and West as having great influence over his artistic practice. Aged seventeen, he was responsible for colouring and graphic elements in animator Robert Sahakian’s studio.

Eloyan’s bold, colourful depiction of anthropomorphic figures to construct sardonic and often comic narratives, nods to a long history of cartoons as a means of artistic satire. As he states, ‘cartoons parody the culture….how humans behave like animals sometimes- how ridiculous politics can be’.

Works by Armen Eloyan at auction

The current Antiques, Fine Art & Collectables auction is notable for its inclusion of several original works by Armenian-born artist Armen Eloyan. Each lot (399, 400, and 401) is one of a series titled A while ago the elephant ordered the ants to make him a burger.

The sale of these works just months after Eloyan’s immersive solo exhibition ‘When it’s good it’s great’ at Mayfair’s Timothy Taylor gallery, attests to Eloyan’s growing prevalence in the UK.

The presence of a professional tattoo artist at this recent exhibition to administer designs by the artist onto obliging audience members, saw the tongue-in-cheek spirit of works such as A while ago the elephant ordered the ants to make him a burger elevated to performance form.

Carlo Collodi’s original Pinnochio, in which the character is introduced not as a boy, or a hero, but a ‘piece of wood’, is a common motif throughout Eloyan’s oeuvre. Indeed, within ‘A while ago the elephant ordered the ants to make him a burger’ Eloyan contorts the log figure that dominated earlier works such as Untitled (Painter ii), 2009 to eerily almost-human depictions of wood that ask the viewer to look twice.

The influence of Abstract Expressionists such as Philip Guston and William de Kooning, as well as Eloyan’s immersion in punk culture, are further evident throughout Eloyan’s practise. While A while ago the elephant ordered the ants to make him a burger signals a departure from the rough brushstrokes and dripping paint of previous work, the ambiguous, nonsensical title echoes Raymond Pettibon’s work with SST records and Sonic Youth.

Auction Details

Antiques, Fine Art & Collectables | Friday 3rd March 2023

Pictures – Lots 338 – 404

Viewings in Birmingham

  • Tuesday 28th February 10:00-16:00
  • Wednesday 1st March 10:00-16:00
  • Thursday 2nd March 10:00-16:00
  • Friday 3rd March 8:30-10:00

Virtual viewings are available by request. Virtual viewings are the ultimate personal shopping experience. Using Zoom, you can ask us whatever you need to know in order to buy with confidence. Find out more here. Please contact to book a virtual viewing.

Make sure you don’t miss finding that special something by signing up for our emails. You’ll be the first to know when catalogues become available, receive invitations to special events, and preview the hottest lots from our auctions, plus much more. You can also set up lot alerts, to tell us exactly what you are looking for. Our personal shopping service will make sure that you are the first to hear about it.


Our valuations are free, with no obligation to sell with us. Our experts will value your item with an estimate, so you can find out what it could achieve at auction.

The process is simple. You can fill in a form online or book an appointment to visit either of our offices in Birmingham or London. Virtual valuation appointments are also available.

Orla 1

Orla Taylor-Davies | BA (Hons)

You May Also Like