This week’s Artist Showcase features the work of Levan Amashukeli. If you relate in some way to the term ‘outsider art’, email email@example.com to discuss a feature on your work.
When did your interest in art/creating begin?
My interest in art and painting started when I was 3, maybe 4 years old. My father was a self-taught artist, so I often sat beside him while he painted. That was also when I understood and learnt how to mix colors and small details. Then I started to paint myself and the stone rolled down.
What is your starting point for each piece?
My starting point for each piece is a line, a free, unstructured line. Then I stop to see what will come out of it and – something magical can start with that line. Sometimes I let my 2 year old daughter Tamara start the process and then I continue and finish it. It’s very interesting and exciting to start from pure unknowns.
Who/what influences your work?
My art is influenced mainly by artists like Franz Marc, Otto Muller, Egon Schiele, Dali, Magritte and many others. All my childhood I used to read books about art and essays by artists I admire. German Expressionism with its colors, and Surrealism with its forms have a big influence on my art.
What do you hope the viewer gets from your work?
I hope the viewers will see my art and interpret it in their own ways. My art is an universal narrative and it can be interpreted in different ways. Sometimes I collaborate with a viewer and change the name of my art piece, depending on the interpretation that is interesting for the viewer.
What do you think about the term outsider art? Is there a term that you think works better?
My favorite novel is ‘The Outsider’ by Albert Camus. This novel gave me the inspiration for the term ‘outsider art’ and I like it very much. I think that every artist is an outsider at the beginning, then they start to study at art academies and become influenced by other artists. I will add something like Pure Art or Digital Brut to Digital Outsider Art.
What are you working on at the moment?
Now I’m working on a joint project with French photographer Sebastien Canaud. This project is a mix of photography and digital art; classic black and white versus digital colors. Photos taken in an asylum near Tbilisi, Georgia, will be reinterpreted differently, newly and more colorfully. The exhibition will take place in February 2017.
Where do you see your work taking you in the future?
The future is here and now.