Creativity was my escape from an early age. I fell in love with painting and have never stopped doing it since my childhood. In high school, I knew that painting was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was fascinated with the naturalism of paints, the process itself and the conversations I could have with the canvas.
I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1978, where I had a beautiful childhood until the ‘90s. Then the country fell apart, and the civil war broke out. During this period I lost many friends and family members. Throughout this period, art practice became a positive way of grieving; it filled the holes.
In 1992, I immigrated with my family to Los Angeles, where I continued my education at the California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Fine Art and an MFA in Experimental Animation. Since my graduation in 2002, I have been working at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a non-profit art organisation that chronicles an uncommon history of expression and innovation in the arts, humanities, and science. It is a place where visionary dreams come true, and I am very lucky to be part of this.
Georgian heritage and the way I was brought up have had a great impact on my art, and it’s been important to keep this relationship going. During the past ten years, I have been working on various projects and exhibitions in Georgia with Art Villa Garikula – the first and most significant artist residency and international art platform in the country.
Drawing and painting lie at the heart of my practice, though my work encompasses a variety of media: collage, photography, film/video, and it is often organised in series. My art-making process is more about healing than confrontation.