Eter Chkadua was 5 years old when she discovered, she had talent for painting and after finishing school, in year 1981 she started at Tbilisi State Academy of Arts to study her dream profession. It is still Soviet times in Georgia and free thinking in art doesn’t have a large scope.
It’s hard to be indifferent towards creations of the artist. Realistic paintings halt passerby and catch their eyes. Her paintings unify everything: old and new, traditional and contemporary, western and eastern, southern and northern style of art. But… there’s almost always some Georgian symbol, be it some item on the picture, or the style with which it is created. Eteri tries to make her paintings exotic with Georgian touches, to make them more attractive and interesting for foreign viewers. She’s free while using these symbols, changes them according to her will and makes them inseparable part of the painting.
Eteri takes time while creating, works carefully; in the beginning, before directly starting drawing, she thinks about its concept, form, makes sketches; it takes almost 2 month for this. After this she starts working and in about 5-8 months she creates exactly what she intended. Because of this working style she has 2-3 complete paintings in a year.
Emotions and expressing them is important for artist. That is way her paintings are heavy with activity. What draws you in most are the faces: distressed, amused or dead serious; each face is exquisitely drawn and tells exact emotion what artist has intended to. It’s important to say, that almost in every drawing artist paints herself. Self-portraits or portrayals of alter egos with intense, challenging dark eyes and red lips bear a striking physical resemblance to the artist.
Eteri’s pictures can be considered as feminist. Generally female role-playing and their use as subject in pictures was largely used strategy since 70s. But things are different in Eteri’s paintings. Women are portrayed as seductresses, sultry, eruptive beauties, who can look men in the eye and don’t give in.
Closed system of Soviet Union was binding artist’s talent too, that’s way her career took her to America and still she works there in New-York. Chkadua is always in the center of attention with her exceptional style and using Georgian, national details in her paintings and by this she introduces Georgia to viewers. She’s always searching for something new, so it wasn’t difficult for her to adept in new culture. But it took several years to take her place among American artists. Her works are exhibited in many famous galleries and they always attract peoples’ attention. In my opinion it’s because of her sincerity and many symbols for expressing reality.
Author: Meri Khamkhadze