Street art and the hidden messages of Tbilisi


Tbilisi is the capital and the biggest city in Georgia. The name of the city comes from ancient Georgian and means “the warm place”. There is a number of legends that narrate how exactly the name appeared and why. Some of them include warm mineral springs, and others include even pheasants, but now I will not narrate them to you because I want to share another warmth that I felt in the city.

When you step on Georgian land, the first thing that you see on your legs, makes you smile and feel desired.

The inscription is integrated into every gate of the airport.

This happened in 2015 because of the Olympic Games, but I will not go into details, which are not important for this story. The significant thing is the feeling which a tourist would feel when coming for the first time in the country.


When the already smiling tourist somehow reaches the city (by bus, YandexGo, Bolt, a friend’s car, or by one of the many taxi cars), they will want to connect to the Internet in order to do everything a person does in the 21st century. During the trip from the airport to the city center, the smile has withered a bit, but it blooms again when the tourist sees that in Tbilisi there free Wi-Fi net called Tbilisi loves you.
There is one wonderful proverb in Bulgarian that says: “Whatever called, the same answered.” Here, the tourist will do exactly this.
Let’s accept that the tourist has rented a flat in the city and needs to rename their home net. After all, our main character is not so superficial. Of course, they will show their love for the city in a deeper way. Wait for it!

The walk starts from Aghmashenebeli ave. and continues through the pedestrian zone full of cafes and restaurants, each of which has a different style and is ready to satisfy all of the city guests’ wishes.

The beginning of the street starts with an inscription that makes you smile again. Not you, dear reader, not yet, our tourist.



  • SALVE – ointment, calming means.

The smiling tourist starts walking on the street and sees a café with the same name. The thought that he would be healed if he enters crosses their mind. What about the next café? The integrated into the paves word is very interesting and curious. There is a lot to be thought of and discussed. The tourists’ streets with cafes plays as a calming means of salvation for everyone. Or not everyone? I would put the word “booster”, but anyone has their own preferences.

Imagine that the tourist spends a week in this warm city.
After the first day, when he has read a couple of inscriptions and their mood has improved or the message has prompted them how to change or solve their problems and tasks, the tourist starts looking around for more inscriptions.
And they are everywhere.
That way, I started writing this story.
The story is already written in the city, but with every read, the plot is different. This plot can be changed every day- when a person goes to work or returns back from work when they go to a birthday party or a funeral ceremony. The words are there and do not change, which is opposite to the people’s emotional state. Everyone can decide whether to be inspired, smile, get motivated, go deeper into their fears, or to stay skeptical. This is a human choice encouraged by inscriptions that are left by other humans, which were once inspired to change the world, to create a wave. The words, together with the architecture and the environment, create poetical works, spread all over the city.



I like discovering and interpreting different inscriptions on a daily basis. It is both provocative and inspiring. Then, I started observing the street art in the city as a whole (and not only the art).

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Actually, I cannot remember another capital city, which I have visited, with so developed mural culture. When a person spends some days in the city, they start recognizing the style of the different artists, and seeing how the graffiti is related to the history between them.

The first street art I will mention is Goshaart.

From the images, it may become clear to you that cats are a trademark of the artist. He is also in love with aliens. His works are humorous, but they all have social implications. I was seeing his paintings most often on electrical boards or panels used to fence construction sites. I was very amused at the second one. Here, the people have used recycled planes, and Giorgi Gagoshidze has decided that he can attract attention to them rather than to the building under construction. In most cases, his messages deal with social problems in an ironic form and make people think about those cases around them. Through art, the creator actively contributes to the topic of sexual equality in Georgia, and since 2008, again with his works, he protests against the Russian occupation of Georgia.

The next artist is called Mishiko Sulakauri a.k.a. Lamb. The pseudonym comes from Tusheti, the place he was born, where sheep breeding is still a major source of income.



The artist is self-educated and very famous for his works, on which sheep, as you may guess, are drawn. Mushiko creates sarcastic and joyful street art in Tbilisi, presenting a sheep in different situations, which is located in almost every corner of the city.

It was very curious for me to look at those works; in front of some of them, I laughed genuinely, while others, I admit, I could not understand. I guess this is so because most of his works are about Georgia- the food, culture, and religion, while I am still green here. In the photo, you can see a crazy sheep that is ready to eat the nest khinkali- a traditional Georgian dish, which is by the way very delicious.

I hope I awoke your interest, reader!

I will not spend more lines for every artist but I will share one wonderful of his type link in google maps, which gives you the opportunity to find the location of all the graffiti in Tbilisi.

Something more, they are grouped by region in order to be more convenient for you when you visit the city. Here you are, a map of all the works in Tbilisi

With that said, my narrative ends and after a while, I will go out to explore new streets, search for new (not) hidden messages, and to provoke my imagination.

Are there such messages in your city? Have a wonderful exploration!