Irakli Jgenti: Neither Talent Nor Higher Powers Decide My Success

Young artist Irakli Jgenti chases success in his professional field through tireless hard work and constant self-improvement.

He started drawing just 5 years ago. He experienced an inner rebellin towards the medium at a young age because of his artist grandmother and father. He played football up until the age of 20, after which he had a five-year period of “being lost”, as he himself describes it. During this time he tried his hand at many different fields, even playing the guitar for a few months – but they all proved to be temporary.

“I wouldn’t make a doctor or a mathematician which is why I ended up turning to painting despite my childhood rebellion,” says Irakli. He’s not hiding that painting is a job to him, much like being a doctor or a teacher would be. From today’s perspective, he thinks he’ll never abandon painting, although he insists that nothing is out of the question.

Visiting him proved to be interesting and different, even in my profession. An unpredictable respondent will often beget unpredictable questions from the reporters’ side.

And so we began.

Irakli, do you devote a large amount of time to painting?

I need to keep practicing to get better at it! I have to! In order for me to draw better today than yesterday, it’s vital for me to allocate 7-8 hours a day to it.

Where would you hang your works, and why?

I’d hang them in many places. Homes, galleries – what matters are the owners’ desires and their sense of pleasure from observing my paintings every day.

How and where do you see yourself as an artist 10 years from now?

I’ve not thought about it. So far, I still see myself at my workshop. I want to be a really good artist. I might give a different answer tomorrow; it’s a mood thing. The one constant and most important plan that I have at this point is to travel to America for my Master’s.

Talk about a project or a piece of work that you’re particularly proud to have done.

“William” is the title of the piece. It depicts my mother’s husband. He kept asking how he should have behaved, what sort of character he should have channeled during the process. Bill could show whatever he wanted to show, but I tried to capture what he was trying to hide. I’d like the rest to be up to the people to decide and evaluate.

Does your work depict existing issues in society?

Despite not touching on any specific issues during painting, the viewer can draw their own parallels with various events. I leave the freedom of choice to everyone.

What is something that you dislike about what you do?

The first and most important problem is the amount of time that painting requires. Another could be loneliness. Despite enjoying time by myself, sometimes I have an impulse to get in contact with someone else, but all that surrounds me are my works. Loneliness only works when it’s a result of your own choice.

What would be your greatest achievement in life?

Ah, this I’ve thought about often. It’d be nice to get to an age when life’s whole show opens up to me. I like thinking about having a place in me where death doesn’t seem so frightening.

Are you planning on turning your work into a source of income?

I haven’t tried, but I guess it’s a goal for any artist to get their name out there and turn their work into a profit.

Which famous artists’ works would you like to own and hang up at home next to something of yours?

I’d love to hang up something of Sezan’s, Bacon’s, and Kiefer’s.

In one of your interviews you said that an act of painting can be inspired by powerful love or intense distress. What makes you want to paint?

It all happens by accident, something no longer than 20 minutes in length. It’s just work. Oftentimes I might not have any desire to paint; I just need to do it, so I do. It’s very much like work. There might only be a few minutes per day during which I actually get enjoyment out of it.

You’ve already had an exhibition. Tell us about it.

My first art exhibition was on April 4th, which was an important date to me – just a day after my birthday. It wasn’t an official sales exhibition, but some of the interested visitors did get a chance to purchase my works. I hope that interest will continue.

07 April 2016 20:26