By Ana Mikatadze
I met with Mako Lomadze in her studio for our conversation. Her paintings were laying in every corner, and the atmosphere was quite appropriate for the place – filled with positive, creative energy. Having an interview in such a lovely space while admiring her work did not seem like an interview at all.
Self-portrait by Mako Lomadze
When did you start painting?
Mako: I’ve been painting since I was two years old. I remember my first drawing was a spider for some reason. I started painting with my left hand which was a problem back then, but I got lucky, my director was left-handed as well. He didn’t mind and I’m really grateful because I don’t know if I would have continued painting had they tried to make me paint with my right hand.
When I was little, I didn’t want to do anything else but paint, and they would always get angry at me because of that.
When I started going to the art gymnasium, I remember I had two hours of painting classes and this was my only pleasure. I didn’t care much about school or ballet. I knew my whole life that I would do my bachelor’s in painting, and that’s what I did. I finished my master’s as well, and now I work as a freelancer and participate in exhibitions too.
What are you painting, and what’s your inspiration?
Mako: Everything around me inspires me. This isn’t a profession for me, it’s my life. I get inspiration from emotions and generally from my everyday life. Probably dreams still have the biggest part in this. I may not remember the exact dream, but the emotions I’m left with when I wake up is really important in my work. I always try to put it out on the canvas the next day.
✱ Self-portrait by Mako Lomadze
What is your main style?
Mako: I guess realism for the most, but I can’t say for sure, I often change styles. I think now I’m more into surrealism. So, I don’t have one particular style, I’m still searching, but I guess realism is what I like the most.
Do you have the opportunity for self-realization in Tbilisi?
Mako: I think Tbilisi does not have high quality in this regard and it’s really hard to self-realize here. Probably I’m wrong, but it still looks like you need to do twice as much work as in other cities. There are lots of problems and we are still evolving as a country, so I really want to study abroad. Traveling is essential for an artist, but I don’t want to leave forever. I will definitely come back after some time.
Works by Mako Lomadze
To stay on the same topic, where is Tbilisi on the development scale?
Mako: There’s a big difference between Tbilisi and cities in other developed countries.
You can feel how we slowly try to keep up with the rest of the world.
We have many cool projects, but we’re still quite far away, and the same goes for my sector. There are some problems with regards to selling too – you can’t even compare this to the international standards. But I’ve been working as a painter for over eight years now and the situation is a lot better. I see a lot of art spaces opening up and I’m really excited about it.
How’s your view on life in general? War or peace?
Mako: I guess war for peace. I had periods where I wouldn’t do anything at all and this was a tragedy for me. Not doing anything is killing me and I think the same goes for everyone. Although I believe in peace, we are living in such an environment that that is hardly possible without fighting for it.
Painting by Mako Lomadze
Do you do anything other than painting?
Mako: Sometimes I take students in my studio to teach them how to paint. Mostly adults, who understand the concept and just want to refine their skills. While working, I always talk to them about the history of painting. I believe that when you study how to draw, you must know the theory and general history of arts as well.
Did you have any especially memorable exhibition?
Mako: Yeah, there was this one: I was completing my master’s in 2016 when they announced a contest. There was a project called “personal structures”, under Venice Biennale. They chose ten students and I was one of them, but it was in a different format, so instead of paintings, there was my installation, called metamorphosis. We went to the Biennale and spent a few magical days there. The exhibition went on for six months, but we stayed for the first ten days and met with famous artists from all over the world. I grew so much as an artist during these days. It helped me get a little more famous as well since a lot of people shared my work on social media and I can say this was one of the most important periods of my life.
Art installation by Mako Lomadze
Do you currently have your work in an exhibition?
Mako: I had a personal exhibition a while before in the Gamrekeli gallery, and I’m getting ready for one by the end of this year. Now you can see some of my works in ArtTent until the end of August. This is a new innovative space in Mtatsminda Park where you’ll find the works of 61 artists from different generations under one project called “The anatomy of existence”.
What’s your goal, where do you want to find your paintings?
Mako: To be honest, when I think about it I always imagine installations instead of paintings. I’d like to see them in open spaces, visible for everyone. As for paintings, I guess every artist’s dream is to find their works at the Sotheby’s auction one day.