I met Luka Khabelashvili in spring 2018, while reading the Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival portfolio. Sporting curly hair, a brightly coloured shirt and a tattoo on his forearm, he was very modest and hardly looked at us as we were looking at his Instagram account, astounded. Everything was beautiful, with heavy with sadness, under an endless Georgian sky that brought in a breath of fresh air. Air, everywhere, emptiness, abandonment, escape. Run. He spoke little. He is an autodidact. He paints, too. “Why do you make picture?” – “So as not to hate myself.” As I sat there, I already felt supportive of him and knew the girls on the committee would feel the same. Gently, meeting in the evening with his cheerful younger sister or in a car, until Christmas eve, we built the first scenography of his very first exhibition.
Carine Doleck, freelance curator
About the artist
Born in Gori in 1999, in Georgia, Luka Khabelashvili is self-taught photographer and has been practicing photography since his early childhood. On one summer holiday spent in Turkey, her mother got him a camera. Thus, he started taking lot of shots indoors and outdoors and got obsessed with photography. Nowadays, he shot everything such as portraits, landscape and documentary.