During his research for this exhibition, Kurashvili studied commissioned portraits of dictators, as well as photos of leaders in the media. A former student of the art of making religious icons, a centuries-old tradition of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Kurashvili utilises traditional techniques in his work. The application of layers of oil and paint is one such technique, though Kurashvili uses canvas as a base instead of wood.
"The Damned and our Leaders" includes 10 portraits of dictators, ranging from Stalin (who was also from Georgia) to Gaddafi. While the dictators are depicted as tough, Kurashvili lets the personality, emotions and struggle shine through, allowing viewers to see these dictators in a different light. The exhibition also presents three images of scenes of struggle involving the ordinary people whose lives are inevitably affected by the ruling powers.
Luka Kurashvili currently studies under Peter Doig at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. This is his first solo exhibition.
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