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His Works are Similarly Individualistic and Wholly “his”

Irakli Jgenti, a young artist, stands out with his vision and tastes, saying he avoid painting the woman he likes.

It’s interesting to know how his normal day looks like, a type of agenda if you will, and what are the steps he takes in order to achieve his success. This is an interview with Irakli Jgenti regarding various topics.

As you mentioned in one of your interviews, you protested against painting as a child, since everyone around you was doing it and diminishing your interest. What changed this protest, and did it maybe morph into a protest of another kind?

You could be right, maybe that was the reason; my grandmother was a great painter. Although as a child I never thought of it that deep down. I drew things once or twice at school and they liked it. It was something else; I just did not feel like drawing. And it was probably because I was so fed up with everyone else doing it, yes.

Maybe your protest changed forms; maybe you had a fear of underachieving?

I just never had the interest, but I simply could not avoid it. I still ended up painting. I think that I’ll achieve more here than through medicine for example. From today’s perspective I can see myself achieving anything through painting. And I don’t paint because I particularly like it or see happiness in it; I just think that I will genuinely achieve more through it.

I don’t think during the process that I’ll earn a lot of money, win affection from girls or things like that. But subconsciously, I guess that’s a factor, yes; that all my hopes rest on this work.

Do you think that artistry can be a source of income in today’s reality at Georgia?

I don’t know any artists, neither am I aware of income prospects in this regard. And I also don’t think of it as a way to survive in life. I’ve changed opinions many times, but I think I’m quite set with painting at this point.

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I get no pleasure from collaborating or working around people. 3-4 individuals around me are already too much, it makes it difficult. So to me, painting is comfort. Solitude throughout the day.

Do you follow any mediums? What style do you draw in?

I don’t know. I draw what’s required in the moment. I’m specifically drawing this for my US Master’s application. I draw realistic portraits because that is what’s required of me right now, not because I’m pursuing certain styles.

What is music for you? Do you listen while you paint? Talk about the moods it gives you.

I don’t listen to anything while I paint since I need my focus at its absolute peak. I love music a lot and always look for new sounds I might like. I seek them in any types and genres, be it Georgian folk music, rock rap, electronic or what have you. I like sounds everywhere.

Since you organized an exhibition, it’s apparent that you have ambitions for society to get to know you better and have a say about your work. What do you think a Georgian artist needs to do in order for their pieces to penetrate the international scene?

I will only talk about myself and if that becomes an advice to someone else, so be it. First of all, I know I need to work every day. It’s about working on your own self in this regard, always being in shape. Sometimes I go to bed at night and feel like the day was wasted, that I was just a piece of flesh; I can’t rest and being idle forbids me from feeling at peace.

What issues do you see in society, what would you specify?

If one wishes for senseless people to be gone from the world, they themselves become senseless. Look at history, when have people ever achieved sensibility in unison? It’s different for everyone… I try not to get irritated by anything, but… the most infuriating thing to me is people’s desire to enforce a single opinion on everyone. For example believers might want everyone to believe. Atheists might want the opposite… while it’s all silly and pointless, no one can be something at once.

It’s not the enforcing of opinions that we need to work on; it’s the coexistence of different opinions that we need to focus on, on respect towards each other’s different views.

Which movie would you single out and is there a film you’d like to work on as an artist?

If not as an artist then definitely as a director, I know I’d make a movie. I love films very much, I’d direct many pictures, and it’s hard for me to specify which ones.

What do you think about street art, and what does it mean to you? What does it express?

It’s just regular art nowadays, I don’t think it’s any different if you draw on paper or on asphalt. It’s a form of expression, one of many.

I think that revolutions and systems for development and change are all in me already. I have a lot of inward things to resolve at first, so I don’t think of such issues nor do I have time. I have protests within me every day. In order to paint for 7-8 hours a day, I have to win entire wars with my inner self.

I know you don’t believe in Muses and that you don’t have a particular source of inspiration, but I still am interested if there is a woman you would paint, maybe not even once?

My friend I draw last, I’d draw again with pleasure. I’d have never drawn someone close to me, and I never thought it possible for me so it was a type of experiment. They say an artist is pitiful before a blank canvas. I always looked at it as some poetic phrase but there I was, experiencing it. It turns out there are moments when I get stuck and cannot continue.

I might draw my mother’s husband a second time now; he’s a very characteristic bloke. As for a woman, I don’t know. I generally avoid painting a woman I like.