A Georgian Photographer Upends Traditional Techniques to Capture His Homeland
With intimate images of his countrymen, Georgian photographer Beso Uznadze offers a window into the aesthetic richness and human complexity of his homeland. Born in the country’s capital, Tbilisi, and currently living and working in the United Kingdom, Uznadze creates portraits of friends, acquaintances, and everyday interiors, elevated through an interplay of atmospheric color, surface, and experimental exposure techniques.
The environments that populate Uznadze’s works—be they his home town or the homes of Georgian immigrants living in the UK—are characterized by both poverty and a hint of promise. While his subjects sit amongst tchotchkes and mismatched furniture, they radiate an aura of dignity. Confident gazes cut through surroundings defined by decaying plasters and dirt-swept tiles.
Until recently, Uznadze’s work has focused on traditional photographic methods—documentary-style portraits and romantic landscapes explored in projects for which he was nominated for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2009 and awarded the British Journal of Photography’s International Photography Award in 2008.
In a new series currently available at Project ArtBeat, Uznadze upends this straightforward approach by experimenting with multiple exposures, create atmospheric portraits by layering images of supine figures, domestic spaces, and everyday objects. Through angular, semi-transparent shards of color and form, we see Uznadze’s nude subjects, arranged in classical poses and surrounded by the trappings of everyday life—a countertop, an old chair, a tree stump. The gauzy, dreamlike pastiches offer abstract entrances into the aura of each subject, imbuing the images with powerful psychological weight.