Tbilisi Art Fair bridges the inclusion gap in the global art world – 71Bait

Art fairs are the places to meet like-minded people, amuse others and educate others, among other things. When I visit trade fairs, I am presented with more than just art; It’s the change in my mentality that happens quickly when I meet people from different backgrounds. With restrained amazement, I now visit art exhibitions, inspect the artworks, and spend some time listening to the quirky people I meet. We humans are very fortunate to be able to see, understand and react to art at trade fairs. The third edition of Tbilisi Art Fair held in Georgia is an event where one wants to spend enough time. TAF hosts galleries, artists, professionals, art enthusiasts, curated art events, performances, lectures, concerts, along with a parallel program running throughout 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 represented at the 2022 edition. The Tbilisi Art Fair also includes numerous Ukrainian artists, especially from the young photography scene.

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

A recent misconception has it that buying expensive paintings qualifies you as an art collector. Collectors appreciate the impact that dynamic artists have on communities, and they can spark interest in a particular artist’s work. This investment enables artists to continue working, building their reputation, evolving and generating more value. Sarah Thornton mentions in her book Seven days in the art world that art investing is more like real estate than stocks. Some Andy Warhol works are mid-block studio apartments facing north, while others are penthouses with 360-degree views. A Cisco stock, on the other hand, is always just a Cisco stock. TAF sells works in all price ranges; A savvy collector or inexperienced buyer can find joy by paying less than €1000, as well as purchase works by more established artists for less than €10,000.

Blue Pool, 2021, Ilia Balavadze |  Tbilisi Art Fair |  STIRworld
blue pool2021, Ilia 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 exhibiting is the Georgian painter Vera Pagava, who emigrated to France in 1923. International art galleries have a strong presence in the TAF with Parisians Odile Ouizeman, Nivet Carzon and a group of young artists including Yves Bartlett, the French of Algerian-Cino origin, Timothée Li, the French ceramist Daria Krotova and the Uzbek artist Aleksander Barkovskiy and several others.

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

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

In collaboration with QGallery in Baku, the fair will also feature works by Japanese artist Masao Yamamoto, nine young photographers from the MYPH photography school, and sculptures and light installations by visual artist Rashad Alabarov. There is also a rich accompanying program of exhibitions in galleries, art centers and museums. The Talks program at TAF explores topics such as wartime creation, the NFT market, gender and equality issues, and Georgian creation in the international market 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 promising artists and small or medium sized galleries that genuinely support their artists but don’t have many opportunities to be present at major international fairs that are either too expensive or too closed, TAF is energizing the local and international art scene by expanding opportunities for artistic scenes, particularly in the Caucasus, Central and Eastern Europe, and by providing access to artists who are hard to find in central art markets. TAF is therefore both a tool to facilitate the acquisition of artworks and a launch pad for international initiatives and opportunities for creative mobility and exchange.

Birch Bones, 2020, mixed media on velvet, Thea Gvetadze |  Tbilisi Art Fair|  STIRworld
birch bones2020, mixed media on velvet, Thea Gvetadze Image: Courtesy of Tbilisi Art Fair

Tbilisi Art Fair started on September 22 and will last until September 25, 2022.

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

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