A personal selling exhibition entitled “Kiss to Summer” by modern painter Maka Batiashvili opened in the Artlavka cafe on Sioni Street, one of the most popular hangouts in old Tbilisi on July 17, and will be open until the end of the August. Fans of Maka Batiashvili’s art, famous Georgian artists and other visitors attended the opening. Batiashvili’s paintings and drawings were on display in the exhibition space and outside the cafe reproductions of her paintings were presented on a large screen while visitors sat in the open air in front of the cafe drinking cold drinks.
“Some of these works were presented outside by animation because this is Summertime and people enjoy being in the open air more. The prices of the works are different, the small drawings mainly cost 50 GEL but the painting prices are different, and therefore were also have bilingual price lists, Georgian and English,” Bataishvili commented. She also added that it was mostly foreigners who were interested in buying the paintings and most of her previous patrons were foreigners, though she had some Georgian customers.
The idea of organising a selling exhibition of Batiashvili’s work was that of famous Georgian singer Ketato Charkviani. “She has connections with this cafe and the cafe will now be called Artlavka as a result of my exhibition. Ketato will also organise exhibitions of other Georgian painters here, though they will be personal exhibitions only as the space here is small and only allows personal exhibitions,” Batiahsvili explained. Ketato’s father-in-law Gela Charkviani, an envoy of Georgia to the United Kingdom, opened Maka’s personal exhibition in England back in May 2008 and now this exhibition has been organised by his daughter in law.
Batiashvili said that the title of the exhibition, “Kiss to Summer”, was chosen because it is Summer now and the exhibition will be held throughout whole season and will finish with it. Art lovers and Maka Batiahsvili’s particular fans can buy the pictures at the end of the summer.
One of the foreign visitors, German citizen of Czech origin Martina Tichov, said that she had discovered Maka at her friend’s house 4 years ago. “I saw her paintings and then asked my friend who has painted them. She told me that I could meet the artist and we became friends. I bought some paintings from her and have them at home, and every time I look at them I see different things. If you don’t know much about Georgia the paintings tell you what you want to know,” she explained, adding that this is a good chance for her to see Maka’s new paintings.
Famous Georgian German specialist and Politologist Lasha Bakradze, who also attended the opening, commented that he has known the painter for a long time and that in his opinion Maka is one of the best modern painters we have nowadays in Georgia. “I am always glad when she has an opportunity to exhibit some new paintings,” Bakradze explained. He added that though the exhibition was not a large scale one it still introduces her art to those unfamiliar with it."
Art is not only a means of pleasure, but also the expression and establishment of freedom, the relation of the internal world to the surrounding environment, the conflict of idealism and realism, the relation between existence and non-existence. The mentality of an artist is always related to the events around them, because these events create their art," Maka Batiashvili explained.
Batiashvili was born in Tbilisi in 1975. In 1997 she finished her studies at the State Academy of Arts, also in Tbilisi. Since then she presented her paintings and video art in various group and solo exhibitions both in Georgia and in countries such as France, the USA, Germany, Turkey, the UK, Armenia, and Holland.
Painting by Maka Batiashvili: "Life", 70x60cm, 2009