9 Favorite Photographs:
Born in Tbilisi, lives in Berlin. Founder of CZE Magazine. Participated in group and solo exhibitions in Georgia, Germany, France, and Great Britain. Published his work in Vice, Dazed, Butt, i-D.
The couple on the photo are people who I count as my family. Lukas has been like my younger brother for years. Even though he claims that I teach him so many things, he doesn’t realize how much inspiration he gave me during our friendship. Angele’s name says a lot about her. Her personality and character gives me the feeling of innocence and clarity. I have many photos of them, but the dynamics of this particular one is very fascinating to me. I like that their lips don’t touch, but a viewer feels this strong loving energy that erupts as a powerful volcano. The photo was made at the famous Tempelhof airfield in Berlin, where the summer sunsets are breathtakingly stunning.
Brit Milah is a Jewish religious male circumcision ceremony performed by a mohel (‘circumciser’) on the eighth day of a male infant’s life. It was my first time attending this ceremony when my boss at the time invited me to his son’s circumcision. I have to admit, it was a very interesting and a bit shocking day. The atmosphere in the building with all these particularly religious Jewish people was very unusual to me. It was hard to ignore the sounds of the prayer and singing in Hebrew as well. I’m not very religious myself, but I come from a Christian family and have seen some bizarre rituals growing up, but witnessing this one at this age was an experience of a whole new level. I was honored that I had permission of shooting there.
5:00 in the morning. Summer of 2015. We were driving through the German countryside with friends for a film shooting and this music was playing. It was an unbelievably meditative morning that stays in my mind as one of the most wonderful memories in my life. The person in the picture is Denis, a very talented musician and a husband of a close friend.
I guess the title — Fucking Depressing Morning — says it all. Getting up in the morning to me has nothing to do with laziness or not enough sleep, it simply depresses me. Especially in a city where 90% of the mornings are cold, grey and rainy. The drops on the glass seemed to me a bit cheesy thing to photograph at first. But those kind of tacky things also sadden me, so I did my best to shoot a photo that would easily bring the sense of revulsion in most ways.
I was visiting my hometown for the first time in three years. Many things have changed since, for the better and for the worse. The garbage pictured here is just a tiny part of what was happening at this place. This spot is the space directly under one of the main Tbilisi’s squares where all the fancy restaurants and hotels are located. Walking there was a huge adventure.
The date stamp says 4.2.15. It’s good to know that, because at that period of time me and the people on the photo had absolutely no sense of time. Maura and Graham are a couple now, but at around that time that was unclear. Three of us were spending almost the whole time in this very room in Neukölln — doing drugs, drawing on walls, dressing up and dancing, watching movies and of course, shooting photos. Sometimes I miss that lifestyle, but I confess, that more important things are happening in my life right now, so these kinds of days stay as some crazy and wonderful fragments in my memory.
This photo of a placenta was taken at a hospital room in northern Sweden where my daughter Wilhelmina Aphex was born in January 2016. Later that year the photo was a part of my exhibition in Rotterdam, printed in a large size and hung in the center of the wall with smaller photos around it. I don’t write the titles of the photos at my exhibitions, so this photograph had the most people staring at it. Those faces trying to figure out what was on the photograph were priceless. The closest guess was a red cabbage, it indeed, resembles a cabbage, but presented in a bit eccentric way, with an attached wire, a spotlight on it and a dark background. I guess this photo is an example of the subject matter and the background story in photography. Would I be as excited about this shot if it was simply a cabbage?
Sasha (Aleksandra) is a close friend of mine who is into experimenting with her life quite often. I find it very interesting and I somehow always end up taking a huge joy from photographing her. Her face is not shown in this particular shot, but I believe that everything that surrounds her becomes very picturesque and attractive to photograph. I would suggest the viewers to pay attention to the composition and the diagonal symmetry, the directions of Sasha’s and Nera’s (the cat) faces. Also the connections of the color red — on tobacco packaging, under the book and under Sasha. Another detail: The book in the photo is called Russian Criminal tattoo and contains a fascinating collection of images and information. I like that the particular page shown here has a dick and balls in it, which adds a bit more intrigue to the whole image.
This is my daughter in the right corner of the photograph and her first time seeing a full moon rising on a summer evening sky. Photographed in Berlin.