Life wasn’t always kind to Shalva Nikvashvili. Growing up he felt like he didn’t have much space to express his true self. Now living in Belgium he focuses his efforts on his art: tattooing and making masks.
“I have never fitted into the masses and never want to,” said the artist in an interview with FGUK Magazine. “My work has been and will be placed where I can be whoever I want to be. I feel safe and am the true me next to my boyfriend and in my work.”
His masks, while concealing the face, also draw attention to it, with their unusual shapes and original use of materials. These materials include anything from cleaning supplies to rubber. The result isn’t always pretty but it is always striking.
“I have and had a couple of dreams in my life,” Nikvashvili revealed. “One of them was and will always be to inspire others and make people understand the world I live in. To give people hope that everything is possible. And to see now that so many people relate or support my stories it makes me stronger and gives me hope!”
“Every artist needs an audience,” he added. “My work really tries to speak for a better world, a world without racism, sexism, homophobia and where people will not be punished for who they are. We need to support each other and fight for our rights and never forget history.”
Take a look at some of his work.