About 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 something that he referred to as "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 and eventually took over.
Now Irakly shoots mostly in his studio, claiming he is too spoiled to withstand the rough conditions of the great outdoors. His artistic interests these days are revolving around unconventional and surreal representation of female beauty and elaborate staged photography that one may call photo-theatre.
Over the years, Irakly embraced Taoist approach to photography. He learned to be open end receptive to the surrounding world and, most importantly, never to resist his creative ideas, no matter how unusual even strange they were. 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 twenty personal and group shows in the US, Canada and Russia. He has published more than a hundred photographs and numerous articles in American and Russian photographic and magazines and web sites. He is a 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.
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