October 18, 1968 (age 55) (
Moscow State University
The Slice | Moment Invitational 2019 Submission | by Viktor Manshtein & Irakly Shanidze
Irakly Shanidze (born October 18, 1968) is a creative director and an advertising, fashion, and portrait photographer.
- The Slice Moment Invitational 2019 Submission by Viktor Manshtein Irakly Shanidze
Shanidze was born in Tbilisi in 1968. He graduated from Moscow State University with an MS in chemical enzymology. In 1993, he moved to Detroit, Michigan, USA, where he pursued a PhD in pharmacology/molecular biology at Wayne State University and then MPH/MHSA at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. Concurrently he studied at New York Institute of Photography, graduating in 2000.
At the age of 12 Shanidze received a pre-war Reflex Korelle from his grandfather as a gift. While studying at Moscow State University he contributed to the University newspaper Вестник Московского Университета ("Moscow University Bulletin"). When on a military duty (1987–1989), he held the position of staff photojournalist at a regional military newspaper "Слава Родины" ("Motherland's Glory").
In 2000, Shanidze opened a photo studio in Detroit. In 2004, he partnered with Pavel Kiselev to open the International Academy of Photographic Arts. In 2004–2007, he was commissioned by a mime theater "Лицедеи".
Shanidze's photos have been shown at the State Exhibition Center Manezh, St. Petersburg, and at the Museum of Russian Art, Jersey City, New Jersey.
His professional advertising projects vary between the 'straight' (though rarely totally so) style of well-lit and executed studio work and his subversive and symbolic style, sometimes involving complex pseudo-real setups intended to convey the spontaneity and style of street life. As an advertising photographer, he has worked for Japan Tobacco International, Lexar Microsystems, Inc., and Leica Camera AG.
Much of his personal work is 'street,' though not classical street photography in that he places emphasis on the imagined and the surreal. Whether it is a series of images in which strangers on the subway gradually emerge as though spies, or individual images in which found scenes take on allegorical overtones as a result of the manner in which their elements are juxtaposed. Whether subtly mocking a classical painting or using strongly symbolic elements, Shanidze invites the viewer to subvert their own views of the real in the process of decoding the surreal.
Shanidze has exhibited his work in personal and group shows in the USA, Canada and Russia.
He is a visiting professor at Moscow Academy of Photography where he teaches the artistic side of photography online. He also holds seminars and workshops across the US and Europe.
He lives and works in Detroit, Michigan, USA. Recently his interest shifted to visual representation of classical dance.