Tell us a bit about yourself.
- I was born in the city of Rustavi, I remember from my childhood that I was drawing. Maybe it was the influence of my parents, they were both artists, I was observing what they were doing, maybe I wanted to repeat it myself, they also really encouraged my sister and myself. We have kept all those naive pictures to this day.
When we moved to Greece, that was where we were truly exposed to the Western culture- be it Disney, anime or video games ... Video games had a big impact on me. I still see the influences in my work; The three-dimensional structure that video games have I think subconsciously always figures in my work.
When we returned to Georgia we had a little difficulty adapting. But my sister and I had something like a home studio, I was obsessed with drawing, I drew 10-15 drawings a day, which is quite a lot for a small child.
Then I became more intensely interested in tempera paints, my father worked with them and it was like alchemy for me – watching paints being made by mixing with egg with vinegar and different powders... I have used other paints too- watercolor, oil paints ... After some time, about 5 years ago I returned to tempera paints and recent paintings are all done with tempera and acrylic paints. So I think home education has had a huge impact on me.
The Center for Contemporary Art (CCA-Tbilisi) also played a big role in my practice, which was interesting in that it gave us a lot of freedom in the theoretical or practical part, to work in different materials; It was also important that we worked in small groups and there was a sense of collective activity.
Although I'm very critical of the Tbilisi State Academy of the Fine Arts (I graduated with a bachelor's degree from the faculty of architecture), I think I still got a lot of inspiration there. I started making three-dimensional works based on my education there, I tried to transform classic architectural models into minimalist videos where I created a sense of space.
I recently graduated with a master’s degree in fine arts (KASK & CONSERVATORIUM School of Arts Ghent). Every student had to be asigned to a department and I wanted to be in the graphics department because drawing plays a big role in my creativity. But I suppose my final work fits more into the category of media art.
Studying abroad is very important experience, because you meet a lot of new people with completely different histories, sources of inspiration and spheres of interest and this information, knowledge and experiences are shared with you.
Do you remember the moment when you decided to become an artist?
- To tell you the truth, there was no such moment, I came to this decision naturally. If I had chosen another profession, it would have been a more surprising and radical decision for me. Even with architecture, I approached it as a part of art practice, and not as a separate field.
-How did you find your visual language?
-When I started doing the installations I was working more freely, I think I was experimenting more, I was also working with the sound, making sound to my own videos. Every installation was so different, one could not even imagine if it was by the same artist. Lately and quite naturally, I came to set limits on what media I’d focus on and work in. Drawings and paintings come to the fore but in reality, I do not even exhibit them separately, but always in a combination with sculpture and installation; Organic and inorganic materials are repeated here as well; Often the forms that are in the painting are reappear in digital work and everything echoes with one another.
Actually, my first solo show was What if you were in my garden (in collaboration with Gallery 4710 and The Why Not Gallery). I used to take part in group exhibitions, where it is easier to miss the artist's signature style. And the solo exhibition showed what I do and how I work.