Fabrikaffiti Urban Art Festival Hits Tbilisi for 3rd Time


Street Art is flourishing in Georgia’s capital, with more and more murals, stencils and graffiti artworks adorning the old streets, underground walkways and other public spaces throughout the city. The Fabrikaffiti Urban Art Festival is one of the most vivid demonstrations of this fact, showcasing that such art is gaining not just importance but is becoming a major element of the country’s contemporary culture, created by a new generation of artists.

This year, on October 6-7, the Fabrikaffiti Urban Art Festival took place for the third time in the capital Tbilisi. The festival brought together around 40 artists, including locals Mysa, Gagosh, Gameza, and Lamb, and visiting artists from Italy, Germany, USA, Azerbaijan, and the Baltic countries. As per tradition, the main location of the festival was Fabrika Tbilisi, a hostel and multifunctional space, and its surroundings. The festival has developed over the years to offer more and more activities to the public. All parts of the festival were free to attend and gave the public a chance to see the painting of the walls during daylight, something which is usually done at night by street artists, when the city sleeps.

This year’s festival was special since it hosted such distinguished artists as Milo, Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer. The headliner was Milo, an Italian artist renowned for his huge wall murals and who has been featured in a number of Street Art festivals. One can find his works in Rome, Milan, Florence, London, Paris, Luxemburg, Rio de Janeiro and now in Tbilisi as well. In 2014, he won the B.art contest and transferred 13 different tales onto the walls of Turin. Milo’s artworks are simple at first glance, yet tend to convey deeper meanings.

Martha Cooper is a legendary American photographer who embarked on numerous street photography projects and documented New York’s graffiti scene and urban culture of the 1970-80s through her camera. She is the author of the first book about graffiti named “Subway Art,” highlighting graffiti, hip-hop and underground subcultures. The book is often referred to as the Bible of Graffiti. The photographer held a meeting with the audience and answered their questions.

Also in the program, Sasha Krolikova delivered an interesting lecture about street art in post-soviet countries.

“The festival was well-organized and included a more diverse program than usual, like the Graffiti Sketch Battle, Skateboarding, and talks with renowned urban artists Martha Cooper and Nika Kramer,” co-organizer and artist ‘Lamb’ told GEORGIA TODAY.

On the second day of the two-day street art festival, the winner of a sketch battle was revealed, a 14-year-old boy known by the nickname Spore3, who has recently started making graffiti and has already succeeded in this field of art. There were no age or gender limits at the festival, opening the opportunity for everyone to showcase their talent to the public.

“The festival was founded by the Artileria crew made up of Bacha Khoperia and Mirian Shengelaia. From the very beginning, we supported their idea and the very first festival was held at Fabrika,” said Marika Kvirkvelidze, Fabrika Brand manager. “Since then, Fabrika and its vicinity have become the main location of the festival. The walls are annually painted and empty spaces are filled with new murals. Every year, the Fabrikaffiti Urban Art Festival hosts artists from different countries. This year, the festival’s program has expanded and involved other fields of urban culture, such as skateboarding and the BBOY Battle, a break-dancing contest, etc. We are planning to hold an even larger-scale festival in the following years and cover more fields of art,” she told GEORGIA TODAY .

The festival was organized by Artists’ Union Tsru in collaboration with Fabrika and Impact Hub Tbilisi. Fabrikaffiti was supported by Fabrika Hostel, TBC Bank, Urban Art Georgia, the US Embassy to Georgia, Embassies of Germany and Italy as well as Tbilisi City Hall, Creative Education Studio and Margo Skate Shop.

By Lika Chigladze

Photo: The winner of Sketch Battle at Fabrikaffiti Urban Art Fest 2018 - SPORE3


11 October 2018 17:17