Georgia is the home of creative people, so if you appreciate art you should not miss out some of the most acknowledged artists of the latest history.
Impeccable simplicity of sophistication, glory of innocence and naïve journey of joy – that is Pirosmani. Born in 1862, he lived his whole life in extreme poverty and had to paint the walls and signboards of local restaurants for living. Pirosmani’s paintings mostly depict Georgian festive occasions, peasants, merchants, he liked to paint animals just like children do. Impressed by Niko’s paintings, Pablo Picasso painted his portrait. The portrait (which is a graphic painting, with strait pencil sticks) perfectly well reflects the geniality of Pirosmani’s primitivism. After seeing Pirosmani’s paintings one can easily understand what Picasso meant when saying “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child’’.
David Kakabadze – innovation matured by the autumn sun. He could have been known as one of the pioneers of three-dimensional cinema, thanks to the camera that he invented in Paris in 1923, but his role as a painter outweighs his achievements in cinematography. David was born in a small village in West Georgia in 1889 in a very poor family, but his multilateral talent was soon noticed by local philanthropists and was sent to St. Petersburg to study mathematics and physics. His scientific training, later on influenced the superb quality of his creative work. His gift of painting fully flourished in Paris where he lived in 1919 – 1927. He participated in the exhibitions together with Kandinski, Miro, Duchamp and many other well-known painters. Kakabadze’s art varies from ‘subjectless’ abstract paintings to cubism and warm coloured landscapes of his homeland. The fatal mistake that he made was returning to Soviet Georgia, where his Parisian works were considered too formalistic, since the abstract art was outlawed.
Before there was Marvel and Pixar, Georgia had Petre Otskheli, born in 1907, he created the completely untapped new world of scientific superheroes and monumental constructivism. Despite his short life, Otskheli left an invaluable influence on theatre stage production and many of his sketches for theatre became masterpieces of graphic arts. He was the master of creating metaphysical, space-themed atmosphere on stage by sharply accentuated forms of the figures with a bit of exaggeration and static constructivism of the surrounding architecture. You can almost hear the characters of his paintings speaking, you can feel the depth of their voices and predict the sophistication of their movement. Being a brave innovator had a high cost in Soviet Georgia. 30 years old artist was arrested and shot on trumped-up charges of treason in Moscow.
Soliko Virsaladze – master of bringing the intermixture of texture and motion on the paper. Could he have been a high fashion designer if born the right time in right country? No. Because he is a pure artist characterized by balancing the moderation, colour variety and refinement. He managed to mingle Georgian ethnic details and ornaments with European luxurious textures and came up with the dancing costumes of Georgian National Ballet. He was chief designer of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow from 1964 until his death and collaborated with many worldwide known choreographers.