(Gustav Klimt Series) 2014
In Tea Nili's photographic oeuvre less is more and erasure equals creation. Her digital photography puts to test our visual perceptions. Objects, paintings, film stills that she captures with her I-Phone camera are just snapshots of reality. The initial images are never the same once they are subject to the meticulous digital erasure procedure. This unusual reduction technique reveals the pixel grids - the underlying structure of each digitally photographed image. Tea Nili uses exclusively Apple soft- and hardware in her work. As a result of radical image decomposition pixels and pixel groups arranged into chromatic colour orders emerge. She creates a different visualisation of reality – the virtual reality calculated by the machine. The images that we see are not the objects as we know them but the concealed core of them – the complicated, precise schemes that underly, the schematic outlines and inner structures.
Freundinnen 2, 2014
(Gustav Klimt Series)
The obtained abstract colour fields, the rhythmic sequences of forms, lines and contours are vaguely suggestive yet they hardly betray the original image. Common objects reduced to their colour codes tell us volumes about their nature: the reiteration, repetition of certain structure elements calls for a particular aesthetics that is immediately recognisable. Tea Nili's signature approach is not mere artistic gesture of capturing reality by means of digital photography but rather experimental search of whatever an image is made up of. She thus explores the boundaries of digital representation by erasing. The pixels are replicated, scattered all over the picture surface forming abstactions where each unit, each colour cubicle containing the precisely calculated colour information matters.
(Gustav Klimt Series)
In her innovative specially developed digital image processing technique Tea Nili creates particular aesthetics that is far beyond conventional photography. It offers us a rare possibility to see the reality reproduced by means of the new media. The process of image creation, image processing, image editing becomes traceable allowing us to see the complexity of the digital photographic procedure.
Portrait with Flowers, 2014
(Jessica, Film Stills Series)
Citations from art history – the history of painting and film are essential in Tea Nili's oeuvre. She photographs works by Gustav Klimt and deconstructs them by means of erasure to colour patterns made up of pixels. There's significant difference between the way our brain perceives colour spectrums as compared to the way digital photography and computer software processes colour. Tea Nili's digital aesthetics lies in these slight differences between the original and the copy, the virtual versus the real. She compares the colour values generated by computer as a result of image processing to the colour palette of the paintings photographed. As, for example, in Klimt's “Freundinnen” - one of the masterpieces of secessionist painting. The green-blue and the reddish-orange tones of the work emphasised by the photoshop make Klimt's signature colour-palette immediately recognisable.
(Film Stills Series), 2014
In her portrait of film star Jessica Lange - a digitally processed snap shot of a TV screen - the ornamental floral background structure prevails over the actual portrait. The digital technique allows us to contemplate colours, the slightest chromatic modulations of tones. The contours dissolve in abstractions with vague outlines of forms as in Nili's “Cubes” and “Violet Squares.” Each single pixel is rendered as an inevitable component of colour gradations shaping forms. Although colour fields in Nili's photographs are made up of sets of pixels grouped together in patterns, sometimes corresponding to the colours in the original picture, her work is more than pure colour study - it is the rendering of colour by the machine that matters.
Certain orders of colour, tone gradations are split up into separate pixels generating virtual digitally calculated colour fields enabled by new technology. The position of pixels over the picture surface is arranged in a strict compositional order. The sets of patterns obtained by means of gradual erasure procedure are organised in segmented reiterations, meticulously calculated repetitions occurring at precise intervals - they belong to the order of the machine. It's perception of colour is hypnotic yet dehumanised. The rhythm of patterns in Nili's photographs is precise to the point, the possibility of colour variations is strictly delimited by the software program.
Stalin, 2014, 90x120 cm
Tea Nili's work is kept in various public and private collections. She participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Berlin, Germany, London, UK, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Text by Dr. Phil. L. Fürstenow-Khositashvili
Portrait, (Olivia Husse, Film Stills series), 2012,
Upcoming: Alter Ego, Ministry of Finance of the Land Brandenburg, Potsdam, Solo Show, June 2015
Upcoming: Selfie@Self, Project Space at Holzmarktstrasse, Solo Exhibition, April-May, 2015
Colour Fields, Gallery for Contemporary Photography, London, January, 2015
Meeting with Pirosmani, Group Exhibition, Tbilisi National Museum of Arts, 2014
Pics & Pixels, Contemporary Photography, Group Show, Tbilisi Art Palace, 2013
Erasure, Solo show, Iberart Gallery, Berlin, 2013
Violet Field, 2014