Born 1977 Sochumi, Georgia.
Lives and works in Zurich
Andro Wekua pieces together fragmented fictions, pictorially and sculpturally, that represent worlds of mystery and intrigue. He often bases his work on childhood memories from his home town of Sochumi, a picturesque coastal town in Georgia. Once a holiday destination for Soviet officials it is now a forbidden zone and so remains a source of memories for Andro Wekua from which he draws much of his subject matter. Andro Wekua builds up narrative images from his fragmented memories combining assemblages of photography, painting and sculpture in small installations in which the various components are intended to evoke the world that he has lost.
The pain of war and the effects of loss burgeon on the surface of his work as he exorcises the conflicted emotions surrounding his youth in war-torn Georgia. This feeling of dispossession is manifest in every work, giving each the feeling of homemade relics that capture both the sadness and joy he experienced during his childhood. Based on visions of himself as a child, Andro Wekua’s frail ceramic mannequins evoke a sense of solitariness and vulnerability as they stand or lie in stilted positions.
The figures reappear in his paintings and collages. They evoke feelings of a more general kind to do with the plight of all individuals consigned to live in a puzzling and alien world in which truth is a remote luxury. The fragile figures, made from fired clay and covered in a pallid glaze, seem damaged and abandoned. The sheen of the glaze over the whole figure creates a brittle surface that acts as a barrier between it and the outside world. Only the figure’s dry, coarse hair remains permeable. Beginning with his personal history, Andro Wekuatranslates the fragmented abstractions of memory into the narrative cues that inform his work.