Stories I tell Myself
The Why Not Gallery is glad to present a group show ‘Stories I Tell myself’. The exhibition brings together young Georgian artists with radically different approaches to art-making, voices with contrasting styles and ways of expression. However, poetry felt through all the artworks, that each artist deals with in their own individual manner, can be read as the lingering motive of the exhibition.
Through highly individualistic approaches, the artists presented primarily attempt to reflect on their own personal experiences. It is a journey through the labyrinths of emotions, an introspection to reveal the most vulnerable and at times the most painful. Even though, the aforementioned feelings are often shared, mainly because the artists belong to the same generation, these are disguised in a charade of metaphors and allusions, and take a different form in the case of each artist.
Mariam Tevzadze's creative process is highly methodical and follows a strict pattern. Central figure in her drawings is always a young woman who resembles the artist herself. Monochrome drawings inspired by magical realism are imbued with symbols and signs that only the artist can decipher. By translating her own experiences and memories in this way, Mariam tries to reflect on her past and in doing so, liberate herself from it.
On the paintings of the self-taught artist, Anastasia Pirtskhalashvili, the action always takes place in a magical, dreamlike environment. Absurd, at times dramatic stories inspired by the fantasy genre are a kind of translation of the artist's emotions, in which melancholic and highly idiosyncratic sentiments are gently interwoven. Daydreaming becomes an escape from reality and a coping mechanism to deal with everyday difficulties; ephemeral visions, and vagrancy as the only means of defence from the harsh realities of the world.
Irakli Mereli mainly works in mixed media, meticulously creating depth and drama through materials and layering. It is the same complex way that he merges meanings and essences to create highly romantic and sensual drawings. As the artist explains, presented works are 'about love and separation, as well as pain and joy, and what forms they take when the world is at war and anything can happen.’
Natural stone mosaic works take central role in Gvantsa Jishkariani's multidisciplinary practice. Often when working with this material, the artist discusses highly sentimental and personal topics. Three mosaics, which create one decorative panorama, with distorted shapes and uneven contours, spill into the magical and surreal. It is a bold attempt to bear one’s soul and give shape to the unconditionally beautiful and tender.
Artists Merab Gugunashvili and Anuk Beluga look beyond personal mythologizing to Greek mythology and use various fables as a source of inspiration for their works. Merab's artwork is inspired by the myth of Daphne, a moment when desperate Daphne flees Apollo, blinded by Eros' arrow and undergoes a beautiful yet such a painful transformation. Through this work, the artist muses on human psychology, desires and willpower, our actions - tied to a thousand strings, thousands of dictates and decided on our behalf thousands of times.
The theme of painful metamorphoses continues in Anuk Beluga's work, when the artist imagines Prometheus as a modern man. The Titan, who became a man in the Beluga’s painting, is captured on a decisive journey to bring the stolen fire to mankind. With this knowledge, he will transform humanity, although he will be severely punished for it. The artist is an excellent draughtswoman with a palette further highlighting her deep fascination with the history of Western art. It is noteworthy that she incorporates this knowledge system to focus on her native, Georgian mythology too. Also exhibited are paintings from her Chinkas series, malicious gnomes, from Georgian mythology, with whom many superstitions are associated. Beluga on the contrary, depicts these creatures with hightened sensuality and through them muses on universal subject matter.
Personal mythologies we carve out to better understand the world around, stories we weave as protective armour, traumas we shine through multifaceted prisms of metaphors and unconditional beauty that ultimately overcomes all wounds and disappointments, waves a white flag of victory over the horizon.