Rusiko Chikvaidze on Art, Inspiration & Creativity

Rusiko Chikvaidze, one of the most acclaimed artists of the contemporary Georgian art scene, holding a Silver and Gold Medal from UNESCO for promoting culture (2005, 2007), and with works kept in many museums, galleries and private collections worldwide, is now preparing for an upcoming exhibition to be hosted by the Georgian Embassy in the US.

The exhibition will open in January in Washington DC. GEORGIA TODAY couldn’t miss a chance to meet with the artist prior to her trip.

Tell us about the exhibition

It opens in January and there will be 19 of my works on display, ones created this year. I find them interesting for their plot, ideas, and tonal palette, and I’m sure it will be interesting for the viewers. Every year, I find something new while working and I’ll be presenting these new “findings” at the exhibition.

Is there a visible change in your new works compared to old?

I certainly feel a change. In my new works, there’s much more air, new tones and philosophical ideas to be seen. This year, I made a new series of “Colourful Vitamins” and “Colourful Calories”, and while working on those series I tried to catch “the moment” because everything in our universe changes so fast, I wanted to somehow catch and bring in the new nuances, new palettes and overtones while drawing, because no subject or object is exactly the same; each has unique features and characteristics and, as an artist, you have to see that. In art, you have to look at everything more globally, philosophically even. As individuals, we all need art, because it makes our lives more filled in and much more interesting. As an artist, you’re introducing and displaying so many different realms and universes to the viewers; it doesn’t matter if they’re just seeing it at the exhibitions, or through books and posters - as people are exposed to art, they tend to dream more, to think more, and to explore their inner selves in a way… Imagine no art existing; no music, literature, theatre or opera, how boring our lives would be….

What inspires you?

A friend of mine told me that I love painting celebrations. I would say I love painting strong, deep impressions. I love opera, with its decorations and monumental sights; it always brings me such joy to see the synthesis of high art and music that opera has. I was once offered work at a theatre, but I refused, thinking it would take all my time. I’m sure my decision was right, but it would definitely be a very interesting experience, possibly influencing my work. I love painting the nuances of human relationships, and I also like to paint winter.

When I travel, which is a huge part of my life, I try to be active, to see as many things as I can, and collect those impressions and transform them into my works afterwards, and although I love to go out with my friends, who also are another very important part of my life, when working, I prefer to be alone.

Art is something so vast, and when you create something anew on a white canvas, it brings so many diverse emotions; when, as a viewer, you’re experiencing it: love, dreams, and that’s a mission of art and artist. It certainly needs a great amount of talent, and it’s a very hard work. I can’t tell you everything about the inspiration, not because I’m hiding something, but because these are tiny bits of my world, my realm, my universe. What I can tell you is that I could work more, and the only thing stopping me is myself; I sometimes need to stop and relax for several days. Of course, that’s a very individual thing, but I think it’s very important to have some time off. I work well when I’m in a good mood, that’s when it goes flawlessly. I’m happy to be surrounded with people, my family and friends who greatly support me in what I do, and I also think that life itself, all those different stages of my life, the possibility to live and travel to so many countries, all of that formed me as an artist to a certain extent, and brought me to where I am now and I really consider myself lucky.

How would you describe the current stage of your career?

It’s a very interesting one, with lots of plans ahead. With the upcoming exhibition in Washington DC this January, I’ll be staying in US for a month, meeting with gallerists there, so I’ll be pretty busy. Being an artist can be very demanding both physically and emotionally, and at the same time, it’s so rewarding when a viewer understands or sees what you’ve put into your work as a painter.

What does travel bring you and your art?

Every place gives me an impulse and I collect those colors and tones; it happens naturally, be it New York, Vienna, Paris, or Jurmala, which I visited not so long ago, and which is absolutely stunning in terms of the ecological concept of the city. I think that Tbilisi too can transform into an ecological, green city, where all the cultural sites preserved will form a harmony with the green areas. There are a great many things I like about our city right now, and as the world develops at an extremely high speed, it’s important to choose the right directions in which to move and to develop.

Nino Gugunishvili

21 December 2017 20:22