“The Damned and our Leaders” 
by Luka Kurashvili

Opening party with the artist:
Saturday February 25th, 5 - 8 pm
Exhibition dates:
February 25th – April 7th 2012

Ten Haaf Projects is pleased to announce: “The Damned and our Leaders”,
an exhibition by a young artist from Georgia, Luka Kurashvili (b.1985). Portraits of the communist leadership were once seen everywhere in this former Soviet Republic; in offices, schools and homes.

From a young age, Kurashvili was interested in politics and especially in dictators and leaders who ruled with an iron fist. To him, they were almighty. With their cult of personality and seemingly unlimited powers they were, in Kurashvili's own words, “more important than God, as if they were God.”

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.