Tbilisi Art Fair bridges the chasm of inclusion in the global art world


Art fairs are the places where you meet like-minded people, among other things, fun and enlightening. When I go to fairs, I am presented with more than just art; it is the change of mentality that quickly takes place following meetings with individuals from diverse backgrounds. With reluctant wonder, I now visit art exhibits, inspect works of art, and spend time listening to the eccentric people I meet. We are immensely lucky as human beings to be able to see art at fairs, to understand it and to react to it. The third edition of the Tbilisi Art Fair, which takes place in Georgia, is an event where a person would like to spend enough time. TAF hosts galleries, artists, professionals, art lovers, organized art events, performances, conferences, concerts, as well as a parallel program across Tbilisi, and much more. Hungary, Ukraine, Lithuania, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland, United States, Japan, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Italy, Belgium, Austria, Israel, China, and India are among the nations present at the 2022 edition. Tbilisi Art Fair also includes many Ukrainian artists, especially from the youth photography scene.

The Arc de Triomphe Wrapped, Paris, 2021, Luca Battaglia Image: Courtesy of Tbilisi Art Fair

A mistake that has recently come to light is that buying expensive paintings qualifies you as an art collector. Collectors appreciate the importance that vibrant artists bring to communities, and they can spark interest in a certain artist’s work. This investment allows artists to continue working, establish their notoriety, evolve and generate more value. Sarah Thornton mentions in her book Seven days in the art world that investing in art is similar to real estate rather than stocks. Some of Andy Warhol’s works are studios in the middle of a building with northern exposure, while others are penthouses with 360-degree views. A part of Cisco, on the other hand, is still just a part of Cisco. TAF sells works at all prices; a savvy collector or first-time buyer can find joy in spending less than €1,000, as well as buying works by more established artists for less than €10,000.

Blue Pool, 2021, Ilia Balavadze |  Tbilisi Art Fair |  STIRworld
blue pool2021, Ilya Balavadze Image: Courtesy of Tbilisi Art Fair

Georgian galleries participating in the fair include LC Queisser and Window Project, presenting artists such as Tea Gvetadze, Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili, Uta Bekaia, Tamara KE, Anna KE, Gvantsa Jishkariani. Also exhibits the Georgian painter Vera Pagava, who emigrated to France in 1923. International art galleries are well represented at the TAF with Parisians Odile Ouizeman, Nivet Carzon, and a group of young artists including Yves Bartlett, the French from Algerian- Original Cino, Timothée Li, French ceramist Daria Krotova and Uzbek artist Aleksander Barkovskiy, and many others.

Among the 36 artists presenting their works in the Hive section, which caters mainly to young and emerging contemporary artists of all ages and nationalities who do not yet have a gallery representation, TAF highlights the paintings of Lizi Budagashvili, who lives in New York; the landscapes of Tsisia Kiladze, the polaroids of Alexandre Bagrationi-Davidoff, the digital works of Alex Kiessling, and the installation of the British artists David Penny and many others.

Landscape, oil on cardboard, GogiTotibadze |  Tbilisi Art Fair |  STIRworld
Landscape, oil on cardboard, Gogi Totibadze Image: Courtesy of Tbilisi Art Fair

In partnership with QGallery in Baku, the fair also features works by Japanese artist Masao Yamamoto, nine young photographers from the MYPH photography school, as well as sculptures and light installations by visual artist Rashad Alabarov. Add to this a rich parallel program of exhibitions in galleries, art centers and museums. TAF’s Talks program addresses issues such as wartime design, the NFT market, gender and equality issues, and Georgian design in the international marketplace, with local and international speakers.

Chanel House, October 1990, Thierry Bouët;  R: Couple, 2012watercolor on paper, VakhoBugadze|  Tbilisi Art Fair |  STIRworld
L : Chanel House, October 1990, Thierry Bouët; R: Couple, 2012 watercolor on paper, Vakho Bugadze Image: Courtesy of Tbilisi Art Fair

With a focus on empowering up-and-coming artists and small or medium-sized galleries that genuinely support their artists, but don’t have many opportunities to be present at the big, overpriced or closed international fairs, TAF revitalizes the local and international art scene. expanding opportunities for art scenes, particularly in the Caucasus, Central and Eastern Europe, and providing access to artists that are hard to find in central art markets. TAF is therefore both a tool to facilitate the acquisition of works of art and a launching pad for international initiatives and opportunities for creative mobility and exchanges.

Birch Bone, 2020, mixed media on velvet, Thea Gvetadze |  Tbilisi Art Fair|  STIRworld
birch bone2020, mixed media on velvet, Thea Gvetadze Image: Courtesy of Tbilisi Art Fair

The Tbilisi Art Fair started on September 22 and continues until September 25, 2022.

Tbilisi Art Fair 2022 in Georgia Image: Courtesy of tbilisiartfair on Instagram


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