'He whose face gives no light Shall never be a star' shouts William Blake from a façade of a house in Sololaki. Once you notice one of these quotes, it seems like whole of the city is covered with them. But the author- the student of Theatrical University, future director, artist and definitely a name to keep in mind, Andro Eradze claims there are buildings he would never dare to touch and tag. When speaking of his graffiti as art he gets somehow uncomfortable and denies it, 'being so primitive and because everyone can do it'- simplicity seems derogatory or this is Andro shying away.
The graffiti aims at the impulsive and emotive responses- while walking down the road and reading these obscure quotes you feel like someone somewhere felt exactly like you, someone understands you. Andro finds it hard to name the precise reasons and thought process behind his actions- the very first one was done when drunk- as if justifying himself: 'I remember I was drunk with Bukowski book a friend had brought me from London, and I wanted to share my state of mind. The process is very engaging- once you do it, you want to write again and again, initially I felt like nothing was mine in this city and so I decided to change this'.’The desire of Andro's was to communicate his feelings with the rest of the world and the written text offered him the straightforwardness he was looking for.
The authors Andro considers to have played crucial role in shaping of his persona transform Tbilisi facades into the personal diary of his. Moreover, these names are signifiers of the whole generation of Andro's age. Bukowski, Blake, often local names such as Irakli Charkviani, Karlo Kacharava are the ones that have ubiquitous popularity and fascination of the younger and more promising generation of Georgia. Resurfacing such knowledge, interest and attraction to these authors might be the answer to ever dissatisfied older generations who complain that the teenagers do not read anymore and are in general less engaged with the intellectual material. Andro on the behalf of the whole generation seems to be challenging these people. After all there might be a hope for the kids forever staring at their laptops. As Andro himself notes this is the 'optimistic embryo evolving in our society'.
Funnily enough, today at the Rustaveli prospect, the heart of the city and the recent hotspot of the attack between the orthodox Christian parish and the people protesting homophobia, there is a graffiti Jesus died for somebody's sins not mine'- this is the only one carrying a tint of protest and a sentiment of disappointment. Andro being there, filming the event for his future documentary, wanted to demonstrate his protest against the violence and the backwardness of the masses, but his philosophical conclusion is that there is not a single person to be blamed.
Andro's graffiti opened the Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project on the Rustaveli Avenue. The vitrine of one of the historical houses in Tbilisi has been sporting Georgian Contemporary art since mid-August. A genius attempt of raising awareness and getting people interested in art, the vitrine changes the display once a month. The art exhibited against the white background as the clothes in fashion shops becomes a perfect transition from the accustomed shop windows to the much forgotten white gallery spaces. Andro's Charles Bukowski acted as the introduction for the project, whereas the vitrine declared Andro's graffiti as art.
‘Bukowski has a positive effect on Georgians who are sad but still hopeful and senselessly positive - similar to this poem. This poem is impulsive: it is not necessary to have a special knowledge or conduct an intellectual analysis, you read it and you feel it immediately.’ The poem chosen for the vitrine was already written on a house on Chonkadze St. but for the team (as written in a press release) it captures Georgian soul most precisely. The impulsiveness of the poem ties in perfectly with the initial aim of Andro- to catch the hearts of the by passers.
The sole aim of the vitrine is to deliver an eye-catching display that springs up curiosity in the accidental audience; so a lot of thought was put in the actual appearance of the window. The blue wallpaper recreates the aesthetics of rundown houses which got invaded by the teenagers ; in another words the romanticism of the once inhabited and now poetic ruins so frequent in the old part of the city and the distinct blue of Soviet times. To make the display more lively Andro added yellow stripes randomly and his trademark AE in promise of plenty more to come.