Tbilisi Streets | Sofia Minson Oil Painting

By: New Zealand Artwork  05-Apr-2012

Original Oil Painting - $13,000
1200 x 1800mm, Oil on canvas, 2008

In May 2008 Sofia visited Tbilisi, the capital city of the ex-soviet nation of Georgia. It was only weeks before the crisis erupted with Russia over Georgia’s two breakaway regions, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. However there wasn’t even a whisper on the streets of the conflict to come. Taking her camera with her on walks through the city, she was enchanted by contrasts of old and new. The old city, with its derelict buildings and fortress, nestled itself comfortably within the plush modern architecture of the new city. Rituals and spirituality were abundant in the Orthodox Christian churches scattered everywhere throughout Tbilisi, even in and around highly commercial areas. The affluent youth came across relaxed, fashionable and concerned with being part of a Western social ideal. Whereas the older generation had an air about them, which seemed to suggest they had not so quickly forgotten their region’s history, the might of Russia and their only relatively new found independence. The subject of this painting is a young homeless boy that Sofia encountered on one of her explorations through the streets of Tbilisi. He was lying near the footpath, partially hidden by some wooden planks, and he had a serene energy about him. On realizing that the artist was interested in taking his picture however, he jumped up and began with his regular begging techniques. With a bag of strawberries in hand Sofia shared her fruit with him and they were both satisfied. This is not usually the case however. Roma children, as most of Tbilisi’s street children are referred to, often use a very aggressive strategy to get money from passers-by. Many come from other parts of the country and they belong to sophisticated begging networks, which don’t allow them to manage their own funds. Sofia Minson Oil Paintings | New Zealand Artwork

The information in this article was current at 27 Mar 2012


Other products and services from New Zealand Artwork

05-Apr-2012

From Rangiatea | Sofia Minson Oil Painting

As Kupe and the crew of the Matawhaorua leave the waka to explore the discovered land, this painting gives the sense that although the people are gone, the spirit and memory of their great voyage remains. Sofia's interpretation of his great ocean going vessel, the Matawhaorua, is pictured in this work with an intricately carved taurapa and tauihu.


05-Apr-2012

Freedom To Be | Sofia Minson Oil Painting

Taane has worn his moko previously as artwork: inspired by C.F. Goldie portraits, he presents himself with full facial moko on the cover of his Past, Present, Future album. This oil portrait of New Zealand musician Tiki Taane with painted face moko brings clearly to view the connection he forges between himself and his whakapapa.


05-Apr-2012

Maui's Waka Rests on High | Sofia Minson Oil Painting

Maui's Waka Rests on High" refers to Mt Hikurangi on the East Cape of the North Island of New Zeaand as being the resting place of the waka of Maui, the infamous Polynesian demi-god who legend tells fished up the North Island. According to Ngati Porou tradition, Maui's waka Nukutaimemeha remains stranded on the mountain and is depicted in this painting with its intricately carved tauihu emerging from rocks on the peak.


05-Apr-2012

Aoraki's Dawn | Sofia Minson Oil Painting

It even bore witness to the rise and fall of New Zealand’s majestic Pouakai eagle - a large native species with a wingspan of 3 metres that went extinct c.1400 A.D. due to its major food source, the moa, being hunted to extinction by humans. The prominent South Island iwi trace their lineage back to Tahu Potiki, the younger brother of Porourangi, who was one of the great ancestors of Ngati Porou, of which Sofia herself is affiliated.