The brilliant but controversial Salvador Dali once said that his art requires no explanation – that
one should be able to look at it with an untutored eye, like a child, or a fisherman from his
village. The same can be said for viewers of Zaza Tuschmalischvili’s paintings.*
It isn’t necessary to be knowledgeable about the history of art or to know the origin and career of
the painter in order to appreciate the work. But Zaza has a particularly interesting story.
He was born 60 years ago in Georgia, but for the past 30 years has been living in Berlin.
Educated in the period 1971-1988 (Art school in Gori and Tchinwali, Académie of Arts Tbilisi)
the established painter and restorer of medieval mural paintings found novel cultural tensions for explore in Berlin.
His work cannot be classified as Surrealist, Expressionist or Cubist – any of these labels would be naive or incomplete in his case. Instead, while drawing on the styles of various artists from these movements, Zaza’s work displays an astonishing variety and a totally independent style. All his pictures, varied as they are in subject matter, technique and creativity, speak directly to the senses. Just like Dali’s, they captivate the viewer and transport him or her to a fantasy land, a land of dreams, memories, fears, and desires.
Each of his paintings stands alone; each is a unique and distinctive work. He draws on an inexhaustible reservoir of ideas held together by central symbols like the fish, the tree, the cherub or the bull, to give a few examples. His painting technique over the years has included oil,watercolor and tempera.
Zaza’s paintings convey a feeling of warmth, light, and brightness. Even in pictures which are dominated by a cool blue color, there are windows open to the light of a bright sunny day. In his Cubist-influenced collages, shaped patches of color convey this feeling of brightness and warmth reminiscent of both the Mediterranean and Zaza’s home country, Georgia.
This warmth is derived not only from the atmospheric coloring of his paintings, it is also perceptible in the themes of love, childhood and play which illuminate so much of his work. In all his pictures, this painter astonishes with his unbounded imagination and his artistic perception of the world. Clearly, Zaza Tuschmalischvili is compelled to express himself through his paintings. It is perhaps germane to his life’s work that Zaza, a gifted and sensitive child, did not start to speak until he was four years old. Even today, painting is a kind of language for him.
With it he can talk and tell stories. His pictures are always a part of himself, touching the viewer with their authenticity and emotion. We are reminded of things that we know deep within ourselves, yet which are revealed to us in new ways through the eyes of the painter.
Zaza Tuschmalischvilis works testify he is an extraordinary talent; a talent for brilliant fantasy...a talent welcomed and appreciated by art lovers around the world.”