Giorgi Keshelava, better known as Gigi, was a painter, sculptor, and graphic designer who lived in Tbilisi from 1932 to 1993. His creative path began at the Youth Palace, where he studied painting and drawing under the guidance of Grigol Meskhi.Giorgi Keshelava continued his studies at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, in the painting faculty, in 1952. Vasily Shukhaev, Ucha Japaridze, and Apollon Kutateladze were his teachers. After graduating from the academy, he began teaching in the drawing department in 1964, where he worked until his death.
Gigi Keshelava’s body of work primarily encompasses portraits created in both oil and graphic mediums. His oil portraits, especially the ones of his wife Eleonora Kandelaki, Tsiala Kiphiani, and Elene Beridze, are distinguished for their delicacy and expressiveness. These portraits exhibit a distinctive quality through their capture of penetrating gazes and a sense of spiritual tranquillity.
It’s worth noting the graphic self-portraits created in 1950, 1959, and 1960, in which the artist portrays himself with a stern expression. The artist creates these graphic works with sharp hatches and contrasted tonal gradations, giving the images a dynamic character. Gigi Keshelava also worked in book illustration, creating illustrations for Vasyl Osinski’s fantasy novel “Falling Up” in 1989. His works are kept in private collections in Georgia, the United States, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Armenia, and Russia.