November 18, 2014

Welcome Irakly Shanidze

"Nocturne with Absinth"

The work of Irakly Shadnize is strong, powerful, imaginative. His tremendous creativity makes me think about Van Gogh and all these french painters from Montmartre (Paris) who fighted against the traditions and the censors, paying at a high price their total devotion to their art, for freedom, beauty and love, as him in the former Soviet Union...

Reading his bio, you'll understand how I'm honoured to welcome such an artist in these pages.

Irakly Shanidze by Iris Dassault :

"Iris and Her Corset"
Art Model Iris Dassault

" I had the opportunity to work with Irakly Shanidze last week.

Irakly is an "immigrant" of European descent, just like me, we are the same age as well, so we had a few things in common.

Shooting with Irakly was interesting and different. I have worked with quite a few people who are perfectionists, but I think Irakly set a new standard.We worked for almost 3 hours, and he took 18 pictures (digital). We ended up selecting 3 final images out of those 18.

When I got to his location, he had the shot in mind already. He knew exactly where he wanted me and how he wanted me, and before each picture he took, he spent a lot of time correcting my pose, up to the position of my pinkie, to better match the picture he had in is mind.

Irakly's work is most certainly unique. There's almost always an element of surprise and brilliance in each image. This image has a story to tell as well. 

Check out his website to see more of his work. We laughed a lot too. That's important as well. It has to be fun."

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.

"Brunch on a red table"

"Exposed girl with the ring and the subtropical fruit"

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).

"Circus Runaway"

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.

"Waiting for a fedex truck"

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."

Irakly Shanidze is the founder of the International Academy of Photographic Arts, where he actively teaches artistic side of photography online and holds seminars and workshops across the US and Europe. Irakly's artistic interests these days are revolving around unconventional and surreal representation of female beauty and elaborate staged photography that one may call photo-theatre.

"Nouvelle Vague"

"Maidenly portrait, taken under the action of the polygons of the yard"

To purchase his book, go : here.

"Snipers in Love" is a great example of how different approaches to fine art photography can coexist in perfect harmony under the same cover. "Snipers in Love" is a collection of two hundred photographs that are enchanting and intriguing, provoking and plain funny.

Photographs of Garik Avanesyan (Czech Republic), Pavel Dolezal (Czech Republic), Irakly Shanidze (USA) and Edward Tevosov (Russia) are different in style and content, but they all have something in common : all four artists treat photography not as a tool for mere recording reality, but as an opportunity to visualize their unique and at times peculiar way of seeing the world and to bring it to a viewer."

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