BI Auction for Young Artists

Ika Bokuchava, an art collector and gallery owner, and Bengü Akçardak Küçük met each other back in 2015. This year, they celebrate not only the fifth year of their friendship, but the fourth anniversary of their business partnership as well. Bengü and Ika met in an art event in 2015 and in 2016, BI Auction Company was officially established. BI Auction is the first art auction in Georgia which aims to promote Georgian art and artists, and the culture of art-making, while expanding the art-market.

For their seventh annual BI Auction event, the duo chose to focus on young Georgian artists, calling the 2020 auction ‘BI Auction for Young Artists.’

“They are the future,” Bengü explained. “We want to encourage them to keep making their art. It can be very difficult for an artist to create while also stressing about selling their works. We’d like to make that a little easier for them, give them experiences, teach them a few things.”

The event was a combination of competition, ceremony and exhibition, kicking off on Friday, January 31, sponsored by IArt and WE’AR ART. The same day, five winners were announced among the participants. Their awards included the opportunity to participate in BI Auction Classical next to famous Georgian artists.

“They are all winners to us. I was very impressed with the quality of the young artists’ works. You can really see when looking at them that they have put their heart and soul into their art,” Bengü told GEORGIA TODAY. “And because of that, we decided to organize a special auction for all the artists who applied to our first BI Competition for Young Artists under 30 years old.”

The open call was announced in November 2019. Mariam Baidoshvili, a graduate of Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, and Mari (Ia) Chanturia, were two of the 22 applicants who expressed their desire to exhibit what they had been working on.

“I saw the call for applicants for this exhibition-auction on the internet and I applied right away. Three of my pieces are exhibited here tonight,” Mariam told us. “This exhibition definitely serves a good cause: not many things happen in Georgia that help artists out. The BI Auction is a step forward. We’re all very excited to have our works exhibited. I really hope the organizers keep on developing their events, I wish them all the luck in the world!”

“I’ve been painting my whole life,” Mari told us. “But it's only a few years since I started publically displaying my works.” When speaking about the BI auction, Mari voiced the words of the organizer, saying she feels like a winner. “I’m happy these kinds of events are finally happening in our country as they help artists shine some light on their pieces. As society gets to know these artists, they are encouraged to continue their hard work.”

In four years, BI Auction "for ART" has organized six events and presented more than 350 paintings by 100 Georgian artists.

The auction policy is aimed at fully displaying the Georgian art-market and for this reason it also encourages young artists to appear before the audience right next to the established ones.

Further underlining their support of Georgian artists, the 7th edition of BI Auction, titled ‘Only for Young Artists’ will feature all 43 paintings of the 22 artists.

“I think this event was a big success: we discovered great artists and encouraged them to develop their skills and techniques even more,” Bengü told GEORGIA TODAY.

The exhibition was open until February 6.

By Nini Dakhundaridze

06 February 2020 16:32