Kaif & Oblom – Artist Book For $1,000,000,000

Every artist has his own work, which he considers to be the most considerable no matter how others understand it.

The desire to create something exclusive lives in every man. Women do not need that,Guest Posting because any woman is able to have a baby which is the most important in her life. Hence, a man has a tendency to create perpetuum mobile or the absolute, and they choose either the complicated or simple way. A complicated one is the way of cognition and creating of something exclusive, even if at the moment of creating it breaks all known decrees of nature. And a simple one – the most common – is the way of destruction. As a rule, this way is used by persons with absolutely defective state of mind.

The occasion of creating is generally banal, like everything in this world – the proof to himself and others that I CAN DO IT! The proof of his POWER, that is with help of this illusion to slip through eternity or at least less remote future.

But to make this attempt work it is necessary to have a victim; and the victim is the creator himself.

On 1 st July 1996 to my lodging, which I proudly called a studio, came a man, Amiran Guntaishvili and said, “I need an artist who will be able to design two books, and one of them is called Kaif and another Oblom”.

Of course, I laughed, because the combination of such words, especially for a Russian man, means nothing serious. But… we were acquainted with for a long time, and the past gave me cause for perceiving him as a very serious man and a businessman. Particularly, I was glad for him as the man who was able to write books, what was bolt from the blue for me. We were talking for a long time. It wasn’t even a conversation but a joint flight to the mere mutual fantasy. The more we talked the more I understood that it was the question of a unique work of art.

As an artist I could choose two ways:

One way was simply to paint the author’s idea; to paint and forget.

The second one was to turn this idea into the unique work of art, being unprecedented in its apparent simplicity so far.

I chose the second way, perfectly realizing, what I risked and made a sacrifice. In itself the idea of Amiran Guntaishvili was not new, and there had been made some attempts to accomplish it. However, the previous authors’ mistake was the following: they presented volumetric idea unambiguously, i.e. on the same plane or interpretation, presenting and considering a detail as the whole.


One day in Amiran’s presence a man simply said, “Oh! I wish someone would give me a million dollars just for the hell of it!”

As it was said in the presence of a great number of people, everybody laughed except Amiran who thought and said, “They won’t give it to you for the hell of it, but they will give it to you for NOTHING!”

The idea was born in a split second, “All one needs to do is to create nothing and insert it into the book “Kaif”, that is to make a book’s plaster cast or a notebook, to write on the cover page a pen-name – Homo sapiens, the title Kaif and to sell it for one million dollars”.

What is the value of this book? Its value is that a purchaser buys not a book or a notebook but his own pleasure obtained by his own intellect from the idea, i.e. his own Kaif or Nothing. Due to this very reason the author of the idea does not have any right to introduce his content, because no one but a buyer can know what his Kaifis.

Thus a buyer turns into the latest genius, because he becomes a genius not only with the help of his own intellect but also for money, and this gives the appearance of a genius. Also this book can be perceived as whatever one wishes and to see in it any content in any language and one copy only.

But they won’t understand, will they?

Then it is necessary to create one more book “Oblom”, which will be the author’s idea book, Amiran’s one, under the pseudonym Ubralo Adamiani, which in Georgian language stands for a Simple Man. The author of this book has an exclusive right to introduce his content and to present it to the purchaser of the book Kaif as a frustrated Oblom of the author’s idea, if such a purchase takes place.

If the purchase doesn’t occur, the idea’s author at any time can write his Oblom in the book Oblom, publish it in 100,000 copies and get his million.

I was delighted with Amiran’s idea and instantly understood how many-sided it is in its seeming simplicity and infinitely substantial. I agreed to make it at once.