Project 12 - Petre Otskheli’s Art Brought to Life by Contemporary Georgian Artists

In relation to the 110th anniversary of Georgia’s 20th century prestigious artist Petre Otskheli, TBC Bank came up with a project named 12. The project is aimed at bringing the unique artworks of the progressive Georgian painter to life in an unusual way. The exposition took place at extraordinary concrete venue, gathering 12 Georgian artists, musicians, graphic designers and people with different backgrounds.

Various kinds of artworks, installations and projects created on Petre Otskheli’s motives were performed using modern techniques and tools such as digital art, neon lightning, video art, animation, 3D art, sculptural installation and even electronic music. The fledgling participants of the project came up with individual artworks and presented Petre’s world of art to the public in new forms. It is expected that in the near future these cutting-edge works will be installed at various locations throughout the city.

Petre Otskheli, a Georgian artist renowned for his contribution to the theatrical arts in the 1920s, was one of the most distinguished Georgian avant-garde painters of his time. He was not only a theater artist who created remarkable sketches and drawings for stage productions, but a pioneer painter who paved the way in Georgian modernism with his extremely progressive and innovative visions. His sketches are completed, monumental works that were extremely innovative at the time they were created and even today remain as wonderful examples of contemporary art.

“We launched project 12 last year in partnership with VISA,” Nina Akhvlediani, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at TBC Bank, told GEORGIA TODAY. “The platform was established with the purpose of supporting and promoting art in the country. Since this year marks the 110th anniversary of Petre Otskheli and TBC Bank devoted a number of projects to this iconic figure, this exposition is a kind of conclusive event. We gave an opportunity for young Georgian creative artists to explore and transform Petre’s art in new forms. We selected artists from different fields by evaluating their works and suggested they team up with us to carry out this ambitious project. Our main aim is to popularize emerging Georgian artists and their works among the wider public. We think the project was carried out successfully and we accomplished our goal. I would single out an animation that was created for the first time using models based on Otskheli’s scenography sketches, as well as a multimedia installation by Gigi Shukashidze that we hope will be set up in a recreational area in Tbilisi. Since the project was implemented in collaboration with VISA, TBC Bank produced six variations of contactless payment stickers with Petre Otskheli’s art, by Georgian artists, available to all TBC clients.”

One of the most eye-catching works was a video produced by Nikoloz Kapanadze and Gacha Bakradze jointly. In this case, the artist used musician Gacha’s sound and harmoniously combined it with his work.

“The project itself is very important to young Georgian artists, since there are not many such platforms in Georgia supporting local artists and giving them absolute freedom to create,” author of one of the projects, Mariam Sasha, noted. “The project does not limit participants, so they are completely free to express themselves. Here, you can see various artworks performed in different genres, each of them independent and distinct from the others. I joined the project as a digital artist and for my artwork I used Otskheli’s famous painting ‘The Flying Painter.’”

Now Petre Otskheli’s vibrant works are recognized internationally. He was the very first Georgian artist whose masterpieces were featured in the Google Cultural Institute digital gallery, the biggest virtual association in the world incorporating the artworks of world famous artists. “Georgian Modernist set and costume designer, who revolutionized Georgian theatre in the 20th century was one of the most outstanding Georgian avant-garde artists of his time,” reads the description on Google Cultural Institute.

Otskheli’s art has also been transformed into jewelry to attract the interest of the public.

“I was a student at the Theater Institute when I learned about Petre Otskheli and he instantly became my favorite painter. Unfortunately, the painter was not appreciated or so recognized in the 20th century, but now we’ve brought him into an era of superheroes. I decided to dedicate a jewelry collection to his art. His sketches served as inspiration for me and as a result, my jewelry in Otskheli’s motives drew the interest of TBC Bank and Project 12. My decorations are made using silver and enamel, from earrings, to rings, brooches and cufflinks.”

Art enthusiasts and those interested in the project can visit website to find out more about the artworks and installations.

Lika Chigladze

15 February 2018 18:46