The art of capturing images of oneself in the form of paintings and sculptures has existed since the 15th century. Though taking self-photographs came in much later, it soon became an intriguing and even addicting way of displaying emotions and communicating.
Today, we explore this form of expression through Tika Jabanashvili’s interpretation of herself in the series Autoportrait.
Given the complexities involved in making self-portraits and the development of a certain stigma around its popularisation, it is not surprising that many photographers avoid the genre altogether.
The few who indulge in this technique find it difficult, yet for some the challenge is appealing. One of such photographers is Tika Jabanashvili.
Today, we speak with the Georgian artist about her series Autoportrait, in which she portrays herself using solely her phone camera.
Tell us about Tika, the photographer.
Art has always been a constant companion and influence in my life. I am a dancer, actress and now photographer. My journey with photography started about 3 years ago and my first personal exhibition was held in 2018, with an experimental yet conceptual topic called “Hanging out the Washing”.
In 2019, I was nominated along with 15 other mobile photographers and was in the top ten when it came to minimalism in mobile photography in a German contest. My photos have also been exhibited at the Berlin Photo Week and printed in magazines like Vogue and BBC.
How did you get into mobile photography?
I’ve been interested in photography for sometime now. I realised that my perception of the world was changing thanks to it. I had started paying more attention to smaller details in everyday life. Mobile photography allowed me to quickly capture what I saw without missing any element.
I started enjoying photographing people in their daily surroundings but in a muted and analogue tone. When the environment allowed it, the combination of symmetry, colour, and light started coming together in one small story.
I love how mobile photography allowed me to be unnoticed and spontaneous at the same time. I create and build at the spur of the moment.Tika Jabanashvili
Tell us about your series “Autoportrait”.
Through my photographs, I enjoy showcasing a documentary and conceptual feel. With this series I wanted to convey my feelings and attitude towards art in general. It is titled self-portrait or “Autoportrait” as all these images are by the artist and of the artist.
Imagination is the center of this series.
What was the inspiration behind this photo project?
Art means everything to me. I once saw a flower nearby and was struck with an idea. I then decided to start creating images that best described my love for art. Just like the flowers in these photographs, art is a part of me. It comes at the forefront of everything, just like the flowers which come before me.
What were your main learnings from this series?
If you really want to tell a story, you don’t necessarily need help. You have the capability to do everything on your own. Will is all that you need.
Tika Jabanashvili is a 26-year-old photographer based in Tbilisi, Georgia, well-known for her unique approach to mobile photography. Having won awards and accolades, her work can be found in publications such as Vogue Italia.