Tag Archives: Art Fair

Project ArtBeat at START Art Fair in London

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The second edition of START Art Fair was held at Saatchi Gallery 10-13 September, 2015. Project ArtBeat has been presented from Tbilisi at START this year.

Project ArtBeat presented artworks by Tato Akhalkatsishvili, Maka Batiashvili, Irakli Bugiani and Sopho Chkhikvadze at art fair. They attracted rather big attention of society and press.

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Exposition Fragmented united the artworks under the theme: what constitutes the memory in fragments and how the fragments compose an alternative memory of the possible. Born in Georgia, the artists underwent the turbulent times of the post-Soviet condition.  The works they create are based upon different life experiences.

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I talked with Salome Vakhania about START Art Fair:

Mariam Loria – What distinguishes START Art Fair from others?

Salome Vakhania – The main purpose is to encourage young galleries and artists to emerge in the international contemporary art space. There are very close and friendly relationships between the founders and exhibitors of START. It facilitates cooperation. Working with them is real pleasure and it turns into collaboration.

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M.L. – Why is it important for Georgian Gallery to participate in START, London?

S.V. START Art Fair is held at Saatchi Gallery, one of the most important galleries in London. The gallery hosts thousands of visitors every day. Being presented in this exhibition space is a very important step in the carrier of Georgian artists. Project ArtBeat team are very happy that we became a part of this significant moment. Project ArtBeat team made friends with the founders of START David & Serenella Ciclitira and director of the fair Niru Ratnam. They are the supporters of our gallery. We really appreciate their sincere attention and advice.

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M.L. – Did your participation at the fair have any resonance from the press? Was any article about Project ArtBeat and your artists published?

S.L. – Maka Batiashvili, Irakli Bugiani and Sopho Chkhikvadze’s works presented by Project ArtBeat at Start Art Fair had a lot of visitors and received numerous compliments and positive feedback. Besides, such resonance from press was really important. Famous art critic Louisa Buck (a member of Turner Prize jury in 2005), who reviewed START Art Fair, mentioned Project ArtBeat very positively in The Art Newspaper. In the Artnet News article with the title 10 Great Reasons to Visit London’s START Art Fair Project ArtBeat Gallery was singled out as one of the reasons. Besides such positive feedback from international media Georgian press evaluation was really pleasant.

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Mariam Loria


Project ArtBeat at ArtInternational 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey


Mariam Loria- You have taken part in the second art fair in Istanbul (first being CI). How is ArtInternational distinguished?

Natia Bukia- Number of well-established galleries participates in this very international art fair (AI). CI mostly focuses on local collectors whereas the main purpose of ArtInternational is to invite international collectors to Istanbul.

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M.L.- What was the feedback about Georgian artists’ works? Were collectors interested?

N.B.- We received a lot of compliments and couldn’t hide our joy. In half an hour after opening the art fair, famous Turkish collector Huma Kabakci bought three artworks by Maya Sumbadze (These artworks will be exhibited at Pera Museum, Istanbul, 2016). The full series of Gio Sumbadze’s photographs were bought by a very good Parisian collector whose name we will keep in secret.

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M.L.- How successful was the art fair and are you going to participate in such art events?

N.B.- It was a very successful fair for our gallery, not only in terms of sales. The fact that people know our gallery makes us happy. When new acquaintances introduce our gallery to their friends with the words that they like what we do, somehow, you realize that you are on the right way. We are definitely going to take part in ArtInternational next year. Also, we have planned to take part in Contemporary Istanbul in November. Maka Batiashvili, Irakli Bugiani and David Meskhi will be presented at the Project ArtBeat booth there.

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M.L.- Why is this space the subject of your interest?

N.B.- Istanbul art scene is developing very fast. Istanbul Biennial of this year was of the highest quality. Also, there are very good contemporary art galleries, for example, Rampa Gallery which I have discovered this year and I am really fascinated by it. Besides the fact that the base of local collectors is increasing, Istanbul becomes attractive for international collectors as well. Our gallery was received very well by Istanbul. They like our artists’ works and what we do in general. We already have permanent buyers who are waiting for our arrival there. From this point of view, this country became very important to us.

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Photos by Natia Bukia and Levan Mindiashvili

Mariam Loria

September, 2015