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Butu Bilikhodze


A selection of Bilikhodze's body of works.

Q: When is a portrait image interesting for you?

A: For me, the main aspect of a portrait is the eyes. It is about what the eyes tell us. It gives us a view of how the character is seen. In that one-second moment. The first thing I do is look into the eyes of the person portrayed. I must see and feel their thoughts in those seconds of being seen.

Q: What can we learn from portraiture?

A: I definitely look for lighting. In photography, lighting creates the portrait. Excessive lighting can completely change the interpretation of a character in the photo. So the main thing to learn from a portrait is the amount of light.

Q: What is the most important quality to possess as a portrait maker?

A: The key is to try to get to know the character by feeling the person. To be able to see the hints he or she gives you. It is as if you are a kind of psychologist; the person should be recognized and guided to ‘the right’ path.

Q: Should a portrait always have a function?

A: Definitely. Minor details may appear and should be highlighted.

Q: Is a portrait a performance?

A: In most cases my portraits are not staged. Sometimes when I look at a person and see how they act and express emotions I notice and capture them. When I tell them what to do I ask them to show me an expression that suits the surroundings, that has the same atmosphere as the place where we shoot.


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