Jago: When did you start taking photographs, and why?
Beso: Back in Georgia in the 90s. There wasn’t much going on in terms of art, the country was broken after the civil war. A friend and I just decided to study photography to keep ourselves busy. So, that’s how I became interested.
J: Is there anything in particular you aim to explore with your photographs?
B: I was try to explore portraits of people. I began with portraits of family members, friends, acquaintance. And then strangers. I was just interested in people, so portraits were a natural choice. In essence, I wanted to create something beautiful, and I think that humans are beautiful. You’re originally from, and studied in Georgia, are you still in touch with the arts scene there?
B: Yes, I am. I often visit Georgia. I often exhibit there. Most of my inspiration probably comes from Georgia. You live in East London now – do you enjoy the arts scene there?
J:You live in East London now – do you enjoy the arts scene there?
B: I love living in East London. I love this place. But I don’t limit myself to one place or neighbourhood, I enjoy the arts scene across London.
J: You have done work on both Georgina in the UK and Broadway market, near where you live: is this an exploration of identity?
B: The question of identity is always with you and it is a constant exploration. And of course, it is easier to work with something that you are familiar with and identify yourself with. It is difficult to write/create/work with something you are not familiar with or you don’t know about.
J: You employ nudity a lot: why?
B: It attracts me. Often you don’t think why, you just follow your instincts. I like the shapes, the forms. I come from a society where nudity and sexuality was a taboo so in a way it was for me a form of rebellion.
J: Are there any photographers, or artists generally, who have influenced your work?
B: Yes, plenty of people have influenced me and every now and then I discover someone new. But when I started photography it was: Diane Arbus. At the moment, I’m influenced by artists more than photographers. It really changes. In my recent work, I’m into Matisse and Cy Twombly.
You can see more of Beso’s photographs on his website.
Beso’s photograph’s appear in Issue 1, subscribe to LYRA and support us here.
Image: Beso Uznadze, 2012