About

Uta Bekaia.

Uta Bekaia
was born in 1974, Tbilisi (Georgia). Currently resides and works in New York and Tbilisi.

He had studied Industrial Design at Tbilisi Mtsire Academy. He debuted as an artist at AMA (Avant-Guard Fashion Assembly) with a sculptural performance, which was shown in Moscow the same year. Since 1998 Uta Bekaia lives in New York. He had worked on numerous theatre and movie projects as a costume and set designer. Currently he creates multimedia performances and installations inhabited with wearable sculptures, exploring his historical cultural background, Genetical codes and cycles of the universe. Among his current projects should be mentioned Istanbul 14th Biennial, Kiyiv 2nd Biennal and Tbilisi City Parade “Berikaoba”.

 “My path as an artist is linked  to my personal experiences  and growth. As a child, I have lived in comfortable and secure environment of communist  idealism. As I became mature and entered  the puberty, I experienced total crash of Soviet Union, and contemplated the absurd and  instability of the system. This played crucial role in my personal and artistic growth. This was a time of realization,  that I project my inner world to outside, and if there is a war inside, it becomes  my reality. At the age of 16, I was still unclear which career to pursue. By chance I have put together my first, very colorful and outrageous performance at avant-garde fashion festival in Tbilisi. The satisfaction with outcome and  feedback of the show triggered the understanding, that art would be the medium in which I would be able to realize my energetic flow. I have started  to work with different extensions of  design, such as fashion, industrial design and so on. By the end of the 90’s Georgia was politically  destabilized  after two civil  wars. I have decided to emigrate to NYC. My art was very chaotic at that time, as my surrounding was. as I could not establish art form that I would have liked to work with. In New York I have worked as costume and set designer for films and theater for many years, before coming to realization, that only working for myself would let me exist as artist and this would be only way of self-expression. In 2009 I have premiered  my first performance show at Ideal Glass gallery, New York, and have produced lots of work since.

With my background in fashion, and with knowledge of sewing, embroidering and other craft techniques, I create work that always has certain sensibility. I always experiment with various mediums and mix them together, for example performances with wearable sculptures  and mixture of video and sewing craft.  Most recently I have been fascinated with culture of carpet and tapestry making in Georgia, in which women preserved  history and express themselves for generations. I’m mesmerized  by simple , yet esoteric and deeply meaningful ornaments they used in this craft. As a male artist, usage of traditionally feminine craftsmanship and the idea of gender bending as an art form is interesting for me.

I like using this technique because of its meditative workflow, as well as intensity of conceptual visualization. I’m trying to show it in different  light  of a context of contemporary art.”

Chronology of the Artist

Exhibitions:

2017

“Vestiphobia” workshop and exhibition at Par Gorria Gallery , Havana Cuba

Residency at MAD museum, NYC

2017

Performance at ” Fabrica del Arte Cubana ” Havana, Cuba

2016

“New Tiflis” commissioned by Tbilisi City Hall in occasion of Annual City Festival Tbilisoba;

“Night Intervention” duo exhibition and performance with Levan Mindiashvili  at State Silk Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia

“Unintended Archeology”  duo exhibition and performance with Levan Mindiashvili  at The Lodge Gallery, NY

2015

“Manifest Thought Form – A Route of Evanescence”, Center for Contemporary Art, Batumi, Georgia;

Art Isterium – International Forum for Contemporary Art, Historical Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia;

“The School of Kyiv”, 2nd Kyiv Biennial, Ukraine;

“Manifest Thought Form – A Route of Evanescence”, Kuad Gallery, Istanbul 14th Biennial, Turkey;

“The Seventh Sky”, Solo Exhibition, at The Vazquez Building, Brooklyn, NY;
“Heritage”, Rich Mix Art Center, with cARTveli foundation, London, UK;

2013

“Heritage”, Georgian National Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia;

“Pheromone”, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, Florida;

“Spotlights on Georgian Contemporary Art”, Dhadamus Contemporary, Brussels, Belgium;

“A Map of My Heart”, Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project, Tbilisi, Georgia;
“Morphing”, Berliner Liste 13, Dhadamus Contemporary, Berlin, Germany;
“Crossing the Boundaries”, AT388 Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands;

Performances:

2016

“DaDa ball”  Performance inspired by Iliad Zdanevich at Gariyula Residency, Georgia.

“Night Intervention “ performance at State Silk Museum, Tbilisi, Georgia

“Vestiphobia” performance at Ideal Glass  Gallery, NY

“Unintended Archeology” Performance at the Lodge Gallery, NY

“The Fairy night” performance at Art Part residency, NY

“Elements” Performance at Fashion Clash, Maastricht, Nederland’s.

2015

“Berikaoba”, Tbilisi City Parade, Georgia;
“Fuasia Tatasia” Movement Theater, Tbilisi, Georgia;

2014
“Duality”, FAT | Toronto Fashion and Arts Festival, Toronto, Canada;
“Duality”, “Art a Porter”, Bryant Park, New York, NY;
“Fuasia Tatasia”, Contemporary Art Space Peras de Olmo – Ars Continua, Buenos Aires, Argentina

2013
“Purple Jester”, FAT | Toronto Fashion and Arts Festival, Toronto, Canada;

“Purple Jester”, Fashion/Clash, Maastricht, Netherlands;
“Purple Jester”, Brighton Fashion Week, Brighton, UK;
“Purple Jester”, La Guillotine, Paris, France;
“Sweatshop Boogie”, Williamsburg Fashion Week, Brooklyn, NY;

2012
“Days of a Dandy”, Ideal Glass, New York, NY;
“TRANSpolation”, FAT | Toronto Fashion and Arts Festival, Toronto, Canada;

2011
“Pheromone”, Laguanacazul Art Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina;

“Uta Levan”, Tbilisi Fashion Week, Tbilisi, Georgia;

2010
“Saint Hollywood”, Ideal Glass, New York, NY;
“Saint Hollywood”, Tbilisi Fashion Week, Tbilisi, Georgia;
“Saint Hollywood”, FAT | Toronto Fashion and Arts Festival, Toronto, Canada;

2009
“Iconic”, Ideal Glass, New York, NY;

Press Coverage
2010 – AsianWave Magazine
2010 – Sun Sentinel
2011 – Fashion/Albedo
2011 – Fashion Studio Magazine
2012 – Anolie Magazine
2012 – The Village Voice
2012 – The Brooklyn Paper
2013 – The Examiner
2013 – DIY for Style
2013 – KALTBLUT Magazine
2013 – Departures Magazine
 2015- Huffington post , UK