Irakly Shanidze was born in Tbilisi in 1968. Photography became a part of his life at the age of 12 after he 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.” When on a military duty (1987–1989), Irakly held a position of a staff photojournalist at a regional military newspaper “Слава Родины”.
In 2000, Irakly opened a photo studio in Detroit, USA. In 2004, he partnered with Pavel Kiselev to open International Academy of Photographic Arts. In 2004–2007, he was commissioned by a mime theater “Лицедеи”. Later his interest in performance arts developed into close collaboration with Ballet Detroit and a number of recognized ballet dancers such as Olga Pavlova (Bolshoi Theatre, principal dancer), Alisa Sodoleva (Michailovsky Theatre, soloist), Sergey Sidorskiy (Kiev Opera and Ballet Theatre, principal dancer), Anton Korsakov (Mariinsky Theatre, principal dancer), Keenan Kampa (Mariinsky Theatre, soloist, movie actress), etc.
Irakly Shanidze’s fine art work has found a place in permanent collections of Fotoloft Gallery, Moscow and River Edge Gallery, Wyandotte, Michigan. His photos have been shown at the State Exhibition Center Manezh, St. Petersburg, The Museum of Russian Art (MORA). Irakly is regarded as one of world-recognized figures of post-modern art who chose photography as his medium.
Irakly’s photography features multiple unusual techniques that he himself invented, or perfected. He creates his Images with minimal, or no digital post-production by employing mirrors, subversive lighting setups, etc.