Georgian artist Guela Patiachvili is back in Georgia after being based in Paris for 27 years, and he is opening his exhibition “Home Sweet Home” at Gamrekeli Gallery. The colorful series is based on the idea of returning to his hometown, Tbilisi.
The first impression of your works is how vibrant and eye-catching they are. What influenced you to use such varied colors?
Your question explains my works very well. Color is exactly the element of my painting which I think of the least. I spend more time on the topic and composition. Color comes subconsciously and spontaneously. Each work is really “traveling in color.” In the last exhibition series, the places I’ve created them, the beach in the South of France and the French Riviera, imply the supernatural illumination of nature and the historic and persistent tradition of impressionism.
I believe it’s linked with the artist’s spirit; have you ever had any trouble with color as you were in a mood?
Color brightness, contrast and tone dominance often depend on the mood: a cheerful mood has different colors, and a more melancholy or aggressive mood affects the work differently. It does not mean that one is better than the other, as everything has its time and charm.
Does your series have any narrative? I’ve noticed there are small portraits of musical instrument inventors in your paintings.
The musical instrument series is one of the most important parts of my creative process as I am a “professional listener” of music. If there was no music, my works would have been different. I was still very young when working on this topic, and my first large black and white canvas described a world of musical instruments in which shape defined instrument, while inner vibration of the pigment was its content. In my last series (Grand Piano, Violoncelle and Clavecin) I tried a little informative-humorous interaction with musical instruments’ inventors (Ignaz Bösendorfer, Andrea Amati and Sebastian Virdung) and placed them on instruments, which actually is not a bad idea to do in real life.
As you lived and worked most of your life in Paris, did the city influence your work?
Of course, the place where you spent an important part of your life influences you as much as you influence it. Just as Paris was recorded in my biography, I was recorded in its biography in return.
Opening ‘’Home sweet Home’’ is a new start for you upon your return to Tbilisi: what are your expectations?
The title “Home Sweet Home” was an idea from my close artist friend Maka Batiashvili. She understand the nuances of the future exhibition, the difference between the expectation of returning home and the real feeling. In brief, the expectation of an idyllic home abolishes Tbilisi’s rough realism. A good expression of this is on the poster, where the narrator stares at the viewer (a portrait of my teacher, Luka Lazar) and looks like he awaits a reaction from his thoughts about a burning bull, which is prepared for a festive fight and can destroy everything in the blink of an eye.
Do you think moving to different place can be formative as an artist?
As I have already mentioned, travel and moving abroad change an artist’s inner world and philosophy of life, but I agree with Georgian artist Gia Rikavava’s statement that no matter how hard a Georgian artist tries to become Non-Georgian, he remains one at the end of the day. But Gia has lived in Germany for 30 years, and it’s likely he doesn’t think that way anymore.
We know you’re an animator as well. How different is the process and what are the advantages?
Yes, I’ve spent one of the most important periods of my life at an animated film studio, mainly creating animated series and large projects. Nowadays I either work on auteur projects, or I teach students, and I have fantastic students. Interacting with animation always brings up special feelings: it returns me to childhood and gives me the perspective of a child. My love of animation can’t be replaced by anything, that’s why I’m motivated to be divided into several parts and have parallel lives simultaneously, as my life would be boring in a different manner.
Do you have any upcoming shows or collaborations?
There are several group projects in the future. One of them is scheduled for early April in Tbilisi, and this is a huge project with the participation of 50 artists. It is dedicated to Mitropane Laghidze, the man who created Laghidze waters a century ago, a unique product establishing national identification for generations. The second, a two-man show, will be in New York, [a collaboration] with the above-mentioned Maka Batiashvili. The exhibition is entitled “Harmony and Agitation Field.” This year has started actively and according to my intuition, 2018 will be a year full of activities and surprises.
Thanks for the interview!