Nestan Mikeladze, End Game, 2022£ 5,750.00
Nestan Mikeladze, Formation, 2022£ 4,950.00
Nestan Mikeladze, Hergenesis, 2022£ 8,175.00
Nestan Mikeladze, Nox, 2022£ 4,910.00
Nestan Mikeladze, Pink Tree, 2022£ 4,090.00
Nestan Mikeladze, Space Stone, 2022£ 7,360.00
Nestan Mikeladze, Sulphur, 2022£ 4,910.00
Recently I became a feminist, though I hesitated to call myself as such. In Georgia, where I grew up and where my practice is based, a stigma exists around the term of “feminism". The standard view of a “feminist” is that of a woman who wants to dominate men and who aggressively rejects the feminine parts of herself. But for me, feminism is about equality, autonomy, and respect among all genders. My decision to pursue art-making was a decision to forge this path to equality. In my work, you will see how a woman emerges from being blended and uncertain to bold and defined. You will see the female figure as she is undergoing a process of becoming self-aware, empowered, and ultimately liberated. To make these images was, for me, a risky statement. It is a way of saying ‘I can do it,’ because in my world, women are seldom expected or allowed to risk so much. I want to share with others the strength that I have felt through art-making. I use thin oil paints to not only convey transparency but also because it is an unpredictable medium. It is one that I cannot easily control and thus I am surprised by. It has its own way. I was born and raised in a patriarchal society. I started to understand that quite late in my life. In childhood, I remember experiencing a feeling of unfairness while observing the lives of women around me, especially that of my mom. She ran the household: taking care of the kids, doing all the chores, and running errands. I never saw her interests being considered, even articulated. I never saw her doing anything for herself; nor did I see anyone helping her take care of herself. I was protesting inside and knew that I wanted something different for myself. I felt that something was imbalanced. Real awareness of the situation started when I found myself in the role of the women from my childhood. It was a role of wife, mother, and employee. I had a career in finance for 14 years, holding senior roles and ultimately in top management. A woman who aspires to a career in finance, a male-dominated industry, has to prove herself multiple times over. She is expected to excel at everything and still might not be considered as one of their own. Despite rarely expressing her own desires, my mom created opportunities for me to form and articulate my own opinions and wishes. I remember my mom never internalising the norms established within society as her own and appropriate to raising me. She wasn’t content to act as other mothers did. This provided an example to me of what it meant to treat others on their own terms. It gave me a sense of fairness. The first battle I had to overcome was separating what I considered to be right for me from what others said was right for me. This first battle was thus an internal one, with myself. As I figured out what was right for me, the second battle started, this time with pseudo-equality. It was a situation in which I was required to play all roles rather than sharing responsibilities: being educated and having a career, while also being responsible for my household. The road was difficult, sometimes even pushing me to give up. But just like a cut branch can be planted, grow roots, and become strong, so will you, so will we. We must act. As Gloria Steinem once said, “truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
Born 1986 in Batumi, Georgia
Lives and works in Tbilisi, Georgia
2008 BBA Finance, Caucasus University, Tbilisi
2014 Transformation, Tumanish Theatre, Emerging Artists Program, Tbilisi, Georgia
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2017 The Other Self, Fabrika Space, Tbilisi, Georgia
AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES
2022 Finalist, 2022 Figurative International Juried Art Competition, Art Show International Gallery
2019 Honourable Mention Award in an art competition; Living Cities, UPWARD Gallery
2022 Top Posters magazine, FINART Edition
2022 Contemporary Art Collectors, art and culture platform
2014 Bank of Georgia digital magazine, Art section
Tell us about yourself. What is your background and where did you grow up? How have your life experiences shaped your work?
I was born and spend my childhood in a small seaside city Batumi, Georgia. It was a patriarchal society and as I was growing up, I was feeling something was not right and I wanted something different for myself. I was always opposing to the established norms around men and women, around boys and girls and the ways of how they should be raised. All that shaped my works in terms of need to be authentic, to be expressed and to be empowering.
Why did you become an artist and what has been your journey up to this point?
I became an artist because art was always in me and at some point, it got so strong that it dug its way out. For me art is a way to liberation and the whole journey is about that. Through art I see myself, I learn, I get strong, and I feel alive.
What is an average day in your studio like and what is your routine?
My day at my studio is contemplating ideas, concepts, feelings, and the ways I can express all that. Then comes the implementation phase.
What is your creative process?
When you love something and you pour yourself into it, it speaks to you back. So, my creative process is being present and alert. For me observing life around me, exploring topics that is deeply connected to the human being in general is the source for inspiration and creativity.
How do you choose a medium for your work? Do you prepare and plan or do you improvise and experiment?
There are times when I am spontaneous, cause I feel the need for something new, something challenging and untapped and at times I plan upfront. For me the art itself is something that exists on its own and I am the vessel through which is becomes tangible. Sometime it comes unexpected and sometimes it slowly grows within me.
Are your works conveying a message? Is there a narrative or a story to your work?
I believe everything we create conveys a message, has a story behind it and so are my works. Feminism and self-liberation oftentimes are the topics that inspire me.
Who and what are some of your greatest influences in both your life and as an artist?
I can get influence from anyone or anything and I cannot separate my life from my art. So If I am influenced and we all are, then my art is influenced. My past or present life, as a child, as a mother, as a wife, as a friend and as a human being in general is a food for thought and ultimately a story behind my art.
Do you consider your work of art a creation or a discovery?
I would say when you create you discover. Because every time you create you get a bit of something new and that something new is a discovery, as you cannot know what you do not have.
Dreaming in Colour and Shape15 Jan - 15 Apr 2023Daa Art is proud to present, “Dreaming in Colour and Shape”, an exhibition of fascinating artworks that elicit our senses through pure patterns of form, colour and line. The curated pieces exhibit a variety of artworks that explore the concept of abstract art through calligraphy, geometric shapes, and gestural marks that often have no relation at all to an external visual reality. The exhibited artworks challenge our perception and show us a vivid alternate reality using saturated palettes, ambiguous bodily language and reconfiguration of forms and shapes.