How is it living in Tbilisi , Georgia for you? What do you like and dislike about it?
I feel alienated most of the time, having doubts in people’s honesty and friendship. It’s a city that had to be astonishingly beautiful and full of sunny smiles, but for unknown reasons it just isn’t. Of course there are things I like and love about it, a great mix of ethnicities and cultures for instance, reflected on every single corner of the town. I’d say: It’s a nice place to visit, but not to live.
I don’t know if the state is doing anything for young artists, but so much great photography is coming from your country lately? How do you explain this?
Do they have to do something for that?! I don’t think so. It’s 21st century everything is shared on the net.. Well yeah there are some high-budget contests and exhibitions, but I don’t know how that may reflect on the photography level. I’m not really into Georgian photography, to be honest. I know only several people making good snaps and most of them have been, or still do live abroad.
Did you expect all the attention when you started photographing and uploading stuff?
I didn’t and I still don’t. Making photographs is something else for me. I have to admit, photography is the thing I do for a living now, but I started all this just to document some stuff, my personal reality, moments I just want myself to remember.
What do you most enjoy photographing?
It depends, I think I have experience in most genres of photography, I’d describe myself as a variable and inconstant person, so there are days I have a desire of some tender, sweet and smooth photos, but most of the time I enjoy making rough-spirited, wild, violent and bloody images. I rarely stage photos.
What about you own magazine? Why did you start it? What’s the spirit?
CZE Magazine is my experiment of examining myself. How I am able to have skills of collecting and arranging stuff by particular themes. It’s a good way I think. I also love contacting people and by featuring their work making them slightly happier. It’s a project that I think one day will become something bigger and include people from all over the globe.
I saw lots of surroundings and lots of portraits. How do people influence surroundings and most of all how do surroundings influence people?
It’s impossible for me to shoot a portrait, not having anything surrounding it. I never get satisfied just by making a photograph of a body part, even a white paper on a background is a surrounding and adds its own spirit to a portrait. The huge part of my attraction is a background in people’s expressions, what do they do, where do they come from or who they want to be. I love watching people act. We all do that, we act different in every other place we’re in. I hate lifeless art and photography, even in some very abstract and surreal photos I try to show myself, I never get tired of saying that, every photo I make is a self-portrait, so even on a photo of a blank wall I try to discover something alive.
Interview by Amanda M. Jansson