Monday, January 19, 2004

Irakly Shanidze

Irakly Shanidze

Irakly Shanidze was born in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia in 1968. Photography became his Passion when he was twelve years old, and it has remained that way throughout his life.
Early on, the artist's photographic interests quickly narrowed to fine art nudes and psychedelic glamour. After finishing high school, he began moving in this direction.
During the years of famous statements such as "Soviet people have no sexuality", what Irakly and his friends Were doing was not exactly popular with the Soviet authorities, and so they tried to keep their work Secret.
Unfortunately, he was too young to know that, in his country, every secret is revealed sooner or later. In 1985, Irakly's closest friend and fellow photographer got busted and was sentenced to jail for five years for taking nude pictures in his studio. It was quite a lesson, and the artist stopped his fine art endeavors for many years until he was able to leave the country for good.
In the meantime, Irakly began working as a photojournalist for a regional military newspaper (while on military duty), and for the newspaper of Moscow State University (while working towards a Masters degree in Biochemistry).
Irakly came to the United States in 1993 as a graduate student. At first, he had little time for photography. Eventually, however, he resumed his photo activities, and gradually photography began to consume most of his free time again.
Now Irakly shoots mostly in his home studio, claiming he is too spoiled to withstand the rough conditions of the great outdoors.
Over the years, Irakly, never taking his artistic work too seriously, has simply gone with the flow. By going with the flow, however, he has managed to leave a notable artistic trail.
At the time of writing this bio, Irakly has exhibited his work in fourteen one-person and group shows, and has published more than a hundred photographs and numerous articles in American and Russian photo magazines and web sites.



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