When living in Tbilisi got too comfortable for Levan Mindiashvili, he moved to Buenos Aires where without knowing the language or anyone he was set to run from the informational vacuum of Tbilisi. Transformed into an international artist, his works are currently being exhibited in the Kunstraub99 gallery, Cologne, while visiting UK for the Brighton Fashion Show.His art revolves around the topics of intimacy and identity. The constant research of the individual influence over the surroundings has led Mindiashvili to observe architecture and to look for the traces there.
‘The theme is always the same- the question of identity. My focus is on the intimacies of life. I think a lot about the border between private and public. I explore these subjects in my Architecture and Bed series.The architecture of Buenos Aires has inspired me to investigate the subject. The sidewalls of the houses are often exploited by the dwellers adding a very personal touch to the facades. If you look into them you will be able to know what kind of person lives there. In that way the private sips out to public and the public becomes private.’
The ever-present search and investigation of the borderlines between the public and private seems to echo the locality of Tbilisi as a paradigm of small community- where the line between personal and public is indeed quite blurry.
Always working in series, he investigates the sediments of experiences buried in his unconsciousness:' When something inspires me I never see it singularly, our own perception is like that too- we apprehend the world in continuum. An idea is always more interesting and rich when you work on it for some time and when you develop it in series. I am never satisfied with my work. As soon as I feel comfortable with it I feel the need to escape the comfort zone. When the material does not surprise me anymore I see it as a sign to move on. Challenge is vital to my creativity. Me moving to Buenos Aires was also an escape from comfort zone and the financial stability, which I realised was too early for my age.'The Urban Intimacies series summarises and merges the artist’s personal experience of New York, Tbilisi and Buenos Aires. Overlaid buildings silhouettes add the intimate voice to the stern facades. The Whisper series of unmade beds radiate the body heat trapped through the sheets. The physicality of paintings- the rice paper stuck to canvas resembles the bed sheets and their creases intensifying the associations Mindiashvili was aiming to raise. The poetic depictions are to investigate human subjectivity.
'I have realised that our perception itself becomes very structural and
we always look for similarities. When I moved to New York I realised all that
attracted and inspired me also reminded me of Buenos Aires. I am also
fascinated how subjective our perception is of the environment we inhabit.’
Although he does not apprehend himself as belonging to any geographical locations, he still maintains a sentimental bond with his hometown. After the 5 years of absence, this year he had returned to Tbilisi with an exhibition Wrapped in the Sheets. Challenge being the driving force for Mindiashvili’s creativity, he decided to arrive with his intellectual baggage only. Remembering his student days, his immense interest and the lack of information, this show was an attempt to share his knowledge to Georgian audience. The exhibition was produced as collaboration with another Georgian artist, Uta Bekaia; since 2011, Mindiashvili and Bekaia are a team.
Visit Levan Mindiashvili's personal blog:http://levan-m.com/ PERSONAL BLOG