Being an artist first and foremost, Rezo Gabriadze has gained an international reputation as a screenwriter, film and stage director, sculptor and puppeteer.
Gabriadze was born in the town of Kutaisi in what was then Soviet Georgia. He grew up in a world of arts and letters. As he grew creatively, his attention was drawn to film. He went on to write over 35 screenplays, including Soviet classic films: “Don’t Grieve”, “Mimino”, and “Kin-Dza-Dza”.
Frustrated with the lack of intellectual freedom during the Soviet era, he turned to puppet theater as an surreptitious way of telling his dramatic stories. In 1981 he founded The Gabriadze Theater – a marionette drama theatre in the old town of Tbilisi. His productions of “Alfred and Violetta”, “The Autumn of Our Springtime”, “The Battle of Stalingrad”, “Ramona”, “Diamond of Marshal de Fant’e” brought international recognition to the theater. It has been touring the world ever since.
As a painter and graphic artist, Rezo Gabriadze has contributed to over 50 books. His illustrations have accompanied the writings of Pushkin, Kharms, Bitov. His art works can be seen in numerous museums including The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, The Dostoyevsky Museum in Moscow, and Lenbach House Gallery in Munich and in private collections. His iconic sculptures “Chizhik-Pizik”, and “Major Kovalyov’s Nose” in St. Petersburg have become major attractions. In October 2012, Moscow’s Pushkin Fine Arts Museum presented its first major one-man show of Gabriadze’s paintings, drawings and sculpture.
Now the permanent exhibition of Rezo art is housed in the gallery in the theatre building in Tbilisi.
Among his many international awards is “Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic”.
«He is indeed a creator of great ingenuity. His imagery is deeply personal and it brings to the theatre a quality of poetic and transcendental realism for which I know no equivalent. His long experience in many artistic fields now enables him to reach the ideal of the completely creative director proposed by Gordon Craig. His art brings an artistic force and positive human vision into European theatre at a moment when it is badly needed».
«Gabriadze’s world is Georgia, just Georgia, particularly Georgia. So that nobody can imagine this image has a creator».
«I love Georgia. This country has given me many happy days. I remember my friends – Rezo Gabriadze, who in my opinion is one of the best artists in the world».