Imagine leaving your house in the morning. You step outside and right away you see something you’ve never seen before. It’s an unfamiliar color, a shape that defies description, a look that defines a personality, or a scene that instantly draws all of your attention. It would sound trivial if you tried to put it into words. But if you are an artist, you will capture it.
A strange color wouldn’t phase you. No colors are the same in painting. Each one needs to be mixed anew. A scene of no significance wouldn’t deter you either. You are not in the business of decoding symbols or assigning meaning to everyday objects. You simply paint them as they come to you.
I don’t have a favorite subject. I paint what catches my eye. I “zoom in” more than I “zoom out." For much of my life I’ve been focusing on poses or shapes, first as a dancer, then as a painter and illustrator.
My technique is a mixture of what life threw my way. I first learned drawing and composition from David Urushadze, a staunch realist who taught at the Nikoladze Art School in Tbilisi. I’ve learned storytelling in pictures from Dmitri Takashvili, a motion picture artist at the Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts. I studied painting under Esma Oniani, a contemporary Georgian artist. At different times in my life I have been inspired by Goya, Sargent, Toulouse-Lautrec, Zorn, Richard Schmidt and Malcolm Liepke’s work.
Why I choose to paint is a question I have neither asked nor answered. For me, art was never a choice. As far back as I can remember I’ve been drawn to studios, classrooms, the smell of freshly mixed paint, the painstaking work of capturing a moment. Does life want to be painted? All I know is that I can’t resist noticing or painting it.
Giorgi Shanidze, a Boston resident and native of the Republic of Georgia, started painting at age 3. Along with regular school he attended art schools in his home town, Tbilisi.
He also expressed his passion for art through dance. Performing on stage from a very young age, he was surrounded by the history embodied in the dance of one of the oldest ethnicities in the world. At the age of 16, being a principal dancer in the company, Giorgi also joined Tbilisi Iakob Nikoladze Art School. There he studied painting and drawing. Giorgi graduated in 1996 with a Diploma in Painting Pedagogy.
Later, Giorgi enrolled in the Tbilisi State Academy of Fine Arts. There he specialized in Motion Picture Design. Throughout his Academy training between 1996-1999, he was awarded High Honors in Painting, Drawing, and Motion Picture Design.