Interview: Eka Ohrner-Natenadze


Interviews | February 27, 2024 |

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Image courtesy of Eka Ohrner-Natenadze

Interview: Eka Ohrner-Natenadze
Luca Curci talks with Eka Ohrner-Natenadze during THE BODY LANGUAGE, first appointment of the 19th edition of VENICE INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR 2024, at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello.

I am a German-Georgian artist. I paint primarily in oils and heavy ink, on both canvas and paper. I prime my paper with honey as a preservative. Honey also makes ink glow. I would classify my style as abstract expressionist and figurative painting. Born, raised and studied at the art academy in Tbilisi and at German universities, I owe my broad horizons and mixing of cultures, which in turn is reflected in my painting. The focus is on a person surrounded by beauty and their own nature. I address human characteristics, conditions, and postures and show the connections with abstracted post portraits. Symbols and elements from the Georgian alphabet are intended to give my images a certain mysticism. The viewer should encourage reflection and reflection. I have been living and working in Bavaria since 1996.

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Image courtesy of Eka Ohrner-Natenadze

Luca Curci – How did you get to your current artistic practice?
Eka Ohrner-Natenazde – My artistic work currently includes graphic art in addition to architectural painting and oil painting. I owe this not only to my art academy studies but also to the book illustrations. I use a certain technique which involves priming the paper with honey start drawing with the ink.

LC – Do you have any habits or rituals while you work?
EON – Fundamentally, I don’t have any special features. But, now that I think of it more, I realize that I have never been able to work alone in a room of silence. My way of working is quick when I am able to express myself that way.

LC – What are your thoughts while you paint?
EON – While working, I am completely at one with the medium and the topic, even if there is unwanted hustle and noise around me.

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Image courtesy of Eka Ohrner-Natenadze

LC – Are your artworks focused on a specific theme?
EON – As you can see below, I treat the topic of characters in a variety of ways. The protagonists in my pictures are often kings, cyclists, or personas from classic works. The similarities emerge in a specific moment of expressiveness. In the paintings below I display those moments that characterize them repeatedly. For example, the little hybrid of animal and human asks itself whether is a king. In the other painting, the gravity of a mysterious, powerful creature shifts forward and comes to a standstill, even though it has four legs. The so-called pseudo-cyclist, likes to experiment and probably thinks he will soon be able to get started with pumpkin bikes. The two-headed character expresses doubts. Mr. Peachem of Brecht’s “Threepenny Opera” looks patiently out of the cane chair. The latter two miniatures radiate wisdom, while the King in Blue can only be satisfied by looking out at the sea and taking in the natural beauty. In all paintings, the composition comes first and is followed by colours. The meticulousness of the technology does the rest.

LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
EON – We can only assess what it means to be an artist today. Being an artist at this time likely implies some task/constant and discussion/criticism/moving forward. Very similar to all the other genres of expression, be it film, literature… A third eye!

LC – Do visitors suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
EON – This is a very good question, since it is often the visitors themselves who inspire me. The encounter with “personalities” that were previously unknown to me in front of my very familiar painting carries something special with it. Affection is sometimes conveyed through body language, which aligns with the prevailing theme at current art fairs. This theme extends to facial expressions, as the two are recognized to be interconnected. In addition, every conversation in front of the painting is very exciting of course, I personally get really excited, like a beginner.

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Image courtesy of Eka Ohrner-Natenadze

LC – What is the message linked to the artwork you have shown in this event?
EON – In the spirit of Umberto Eco, the half-lying young woman is in the “moment of universal consciousness” and, One could even say, she is in the process of practicing “intellectual gymnastics…” These are necessary for the great confrontation between the cultures, to find orientation”. My goal was to convey “intellectual multilingualism” in this painting. In the end, the viewer should be encouraged to slow down without losing track of things, practice patience, and even put himself in the same position. Because this is what matters at the moment! This is the coveted moment!

LC – How is it connected to the theme of the entire exhibition?
EON – With this painting, I chose the monumentality of the exhibition theme. And it became clear very quickly that I didn’t want to oppose anything but rather support it. In doing so, I draw on the partial aspect of the human condition and its connection to posture. The inside shapes the outside, and vice versa. In my painting “Woman in red with a necklace and white doves”, I observed how the viewer was able to understand more by looking more closely. The necklace for example adds a touch of femininity and sensitivity to the monumental figure. Or even the gestures and direction of gaze… Because it’s this discovery process that I intend.

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Image courtesy of Eka Ohrner-Natenadze

LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
EON – The quality of contact your employees maintain with the artists is remarkable. I really enjoyed walking this path with outstanding professionals and I look forward to cooperating with you again. This excellent partnership was also reflected in the organization of this great event in Pallazzo Albrizzi-Capello. The artists were also carefully selected and they fit the theme of body language. The tour of both floors of the Renaissance palace was a great pleasure. Thanks to the excellent exhibition, I was able to look behind the scenes of the palace.

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Group?
EON – You represent an established association with reputable partners by your side. First and foremost, you are a cultural and educational institution that implements its announced tasks and goals skillfully and in an adequately-sourced manner. You promote cultural tourism/mobility, stimulate the creative industries, and motivate artists to grow professionally. At the end of the day, horizons expand, which is an integral part of the modern world.

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Image courtesy of Eka Ohrner-Natenadze

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