ReturnInterview with Artileria Graffiti Shop and Fabrikaffiti festival
Graffiti is truly a global phenomenon in 2020, but there are still countries with very young scenes, consisting of a handful of dedicated locals and intrepid outsiders. The scene in Tbilisi, Georgia is one such case, and we were delighted to start working with Artileria: the one and only graffiti shop in the whole country, open since 2016.
You can find the store in Fabrika, an events centre that is one of the most popular spots in the city. We caught up with the crew behind the business to talk about their great location, their annual festival and the best spots to visit in town.
Who are you?
My legal name is Bacha Khoperia, founder of the Artileria Graffiti shop and Fabrikaffiti festival. I am from the first generation of local artists and I’ve always supported the local scene. The team behind the store, is the CRU crew: three artists who work together to organise all the events, exhibitions, workshops, and festivals.
Tell us the story of the shop opening.
Our space has been housed at Fabrika from the beginning. In 2016 we celebrated the opening of Fabrika with the first Fabrikaffiti event and the CES Graduation.
The shop was inaugurated in 2017, its still the one and only graffiti store in region where you can buy professional graffiti supplies, spray cans, markers, inks and many other tools.
What do you like about the neighbourhood where the shop is located?
First of all I like the space where Fabrika is located, an old soviet factory, which has been converted now to a modern cultural center. The exterior of Fabrika is totally covered with graffiti. When we first saw the building, the idea was to create a Georgian 5Pointz. We have nice neighbors: skaters, artists, musicians, and just friends.
How would you describe the community of artists that come through the shop?
Mostly our shop visitors are artists from over the world, tourists, Fabrika is a very popular place and everyone knows where we are. Unfortunately right now, during the COVID19 pandemic, we haven’t been able to open much.
What is the graffiti scene in your city like?
Our graffiti scene is really small. We started about 10 years ago, so there aren’t many of us, and we are basically all based in Tbilisi.
Lately graffiti has become more and more popular, we have lots of festivals and projects in the city, with lots of famous artists invited so Tbilisi is becoming more and more popular among graffiti writers and street artists.
Which spots do you recommend to visitors for painting or checking out spray can art?
First of all Fabrika for sure. ince 2016, Fabrikaffiti has hosted around 250 artists, including international and local artists. you can find here almost all the writers from Georgia, and of course many artists from abroad, also.
What are some of the special or unusual products that you carry?
We produce accessories under our crew name CRU, as well as clothing like t shirts, caps, hats, and sometimes we have collaborations with other local artists.
Do you offer anything else aside from art supplies?
Yes, we organize about 10 shows and exhibitions per year and we also have a graffiti school plus one day workshops.
Do you have any unusual anecdotes from your experiences of running a graffiti shop?
One of the first visitors was a man who bought gloves, a mask and a crowbar! I still don't know on what spot he was planning to go to!
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fabrikaffiti/ShareNovember 05, 2020