Ad Infinitum

Oil, acrylic, watercolour on canvas, 300 X 250 cm, 2022.

I am struck by the power of archetypes in our human psyche. The image of a mother grieving her child is one that has resonated across cultures and eras, transcending time and geography.

My interpretation of the iconic image of Pieta is a visual expression of the antinomies of momentary and eternal. The figures of the mother and son are rendered in contrasting techniques; The mother’s figure is depicted in rich, warm tones of oil paint, which blend in with the landscape, while the son’s silhouette is portrayed in delicate watercolours, giving it an ethereal quality that blends in with the air. In some points, I made the individual disappear and even altered the positions of the characters, challenging traditional representations of the scene.

This unconventional approach of the painting is a bold statement on the interplay between form and substance, the tangible and the ephemeral, that challenges the viewer to contemplate the fragility of life.

Oil, acrylic on canvas, 250 cm X 300 cm, 2022.

I created “Noli Me Tangere” (“Touch Me Not” 2022) during the Russo-Ukrainian war. The painting’s title refers to the Gospel passage where Christ spoke to Mary Magdalene, but the true meaning of the work lies in its reflection of the human experience during times of conflict.

Until that moment the viewers observed the mass human scenes from a distant perspective, in the case of “Noli Me Tangere” the frontal part of the composition was occupied by the life-size figures. Approaching their dynamic, compressed bodies made the audience part of the story.

In 2023, The President of Georgia has decided to mark the anniversary of the Russo-Ukrainian war by showcasing the piece in the Presidential Palace as a poignant reminder of the human cost of war and as a testament to the enduring spirit of solidarity.

Oil, acrylic, plastic on canvas, 200 X 200 cm, 2022.

“All is Full of Love” is ironic title and the piece prompts reflection on the relationship between nature and the artificial world, and its impact on identity and connection in the post-pandemic world. It features fragmented zoomorphic imagery referencing Gilgamesh and alluding to Michelangelo Antonioni’s cult film Zabriskie Point from the 1960s.

Oil, acrylic on canvas, 230 X 200 cm, 2022.

If we follow the dramaturgy of these six paintings, the third canvas in the series is Seraphim and the Black Star, which was a kind of meditation for the future painting. After expressive brushstrokes, thick, textural layers of paint, and intense, vibrant colours, I turned back to monochrome tones, with this piece I returned to The Styx (a series of jellyfish) to some extent and offered a highly self-sufficient interpretation of the black and white gradation.

If in Western society and culture, white is perceived as a symbol of purity, peace, and celebration, in the East, instead, it appears as an expression of death. It is this ‘double-face’ of white that emerges in Seraph and Black Star. In the Christian religion, a seraph is the highest-ranking six-winged angel standing closest to God. The central figure portrayed from the rear-view is a man, with his gaze directed from his back toward viewers while he affixes his gaze towards the blackness (black hole) to the centre.

As such, the gaze and the trajectory of the gaze in the mentioned work play a significant part; thus, the eyes of people (or zoomorphic creatures) are scattered to the right of the pictorial space.

Oil, acrylic on canvas, 200 X 200 cm, 2022.

Cain’s Dog is the culmination of my creative journey on the Black Sea. A landscape created under a dialogue between red and green, in the centre of which is an androgynous, perhaps more feminine creature and a hunting dog. An Old Testament character, the first man to kill his brother Abel, is brought to life. The deeper you sink into the pictorial plane, the more persistent Cain’s gaze seems to become directed towards the audience.