Ruso Margishvili is a New York based architect, who in addition to her profession, is engaged in painting. She outlines that her pictures create a certain mood and accurate artistic vision so much that at first sight it is even unbelievable that painting for her is just a hobby, and she does this in her free time.
“I have always loved painting; When I entered the Architectural school, I realized that for me drawing is a much better medium of expressing my ideas than computer rendering. Later, I did not have to paint at work so I started architectural illustrations.
One day I found Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s very interesting project “hitRECord), where he created a wide network of creative people and published a book series written and illustrated through online collaboration (The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories). The book offers one sentence per page with its own illustration. It inspired me a lot and I started to illustrate my thoughts and stories of the people around me.”-Ruso Margishvili
It has been eight years now that she does not live in Tbilisi and is only a rare guest here, therefore our conversation took place in the form of e-mail correspondence.
Whose creation had an effect on you as an artist?
First of all, architectural sketches. The architects have very specific graphics, which I have always liked, and as the family’s third generation architect, I had plenty of them around me. Later, I moved to study in Lithuania and local graphics there also had a great impact on me. Then came Scandinavian minimalism and a couple of graphic novels.
What is the function of art generally and specifically for you?
No matter how banal it might sound, art is essential to human development. In addition, it expands aesthetic taste, it helps you get used to reasoning and shows you different issues from various perspectives. In other words, it asks many questions and requests adequate answers
At present I work as an architect in New York City with very talented people from O’Neill McVoy Architects. Various forms of art are frequently discussed in our office and for inspiration we often address some artists, sculptures or composers. Because of my environment, I started to perceive and appreciate the art from different periods even more. I’m trying to change the trend of my illustrations slowly and dedicate more time to experiments.
How do you view the general trend in modern American art, which directions are outstanding? How do you see the same thing in Georgia?
It’s hard for me to single out a trend, because there is mostly chaos in the process of searching for a new tendency. Contemporary American Art is probably most famous for being minimalist and conceptual. Details are paid a lot of attention to, which is often overlooked and considered uninteresting by inexperienced eye. Many play with precision, scale, spatial planning, horizon, light, physical characteristics, feelings and emotions, either doing it in a very provocative or delicate way. Perhaps those artists famous in 60-70s are still in the lead, I mean Donald Judd, Carl Andre, Richard Serra, Michael Heizer, Robert Morris, Dan Flavin, Gordon Matta Clark, etc.
I no longer live in Georgia for the past 8 years, therefore I do not know much about modern art. I try to find out about some new local works upon arrival. Unfortunately, conceptual art is often lacking a scale and is not brave enough; However, there are some interesting artists who are already familiar with the existing bicycle very well and are trying to find their own form of expression. Present social and political environment frequently leads to free expression and protest, so some find fascinating forms. If we look back at the previous two centuries, mainly the emergence of art directly stems from protest and I expect that one day all of this will “burst out” in some way. Perhaps, opening the borders is necessary to shape this energy, also interest in others’ works and generally, curiosity.
What is needed to become a successful artist or just a good artist, and does an artist need success to be inspired?
Frankly speaking, I find it difficult to talk from an artist’s perspective, because painting is just a hobby for me. I meet lots of creative people in New York, and I always have a discussion about what the word “success” involves – if success is gaining material wealth, then the most important thing is to always be in the right place at the right time. Contacts, contacts, contacts! – in the USA contacts and luck is everything, especially in a city like New York – imagine a city with 8 million ambitious people, where everyone has a desire to establish themselves.
I do not know if you need an inspiration for material success. There are instances when a particular artist creates a niche, “brand” and clients demand the same style from them until the end of days. Such work would be boring for me, perhaps because it does not give an opportunity to develop.
There are also successful artists who attract attention because of their strong stance and philosophy and create a less client-tailored art. In this case, philosophy becomes the inspiration and the creation is just one way of expressing it. The latter is much more interesting for me.
Author: Dodochi Gogia
English Edit: Nutsa Namoradze