Irakli Gamrekeli (ირაკლი გამრეკელი - born in Gori on May 17, 1894 and died in Tbilisi on May 10, 1943) was a theater and film painter, a futurist and constructivist artist, and one of the founders of Georgian stage design. Born into the family of a priest, he received his primary education at a theological school. Although he never completed a full course to become a professional artist, he studied at the N. Sklifosovsky School of Drawing and Painting. According to Gamrekeli, among those who had the greatest influence on him were works by the distinguished goldsmiths Beka and Beshken Opizari from the 12th-13th centuries. Gamrekeli studied in the Faculty of Medicine at Tbilisi University, and was for some time enrolled at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts.
From the 1920s, he became actively involved in the artistic life of Tbilisi and, being enthralled by the Modernist movements, he participated in various exhibitions. Irakli Gamrekeli’s turning point occurred during one such exhibition, when Kote Marjanishvili noticed his illustrations of Oscar Wilde's Salome, and invited the artist to the Rustaveli Theater. They subsequently worked together on performances of Londa (1923), Maelstrom (1924), Man from the Mirror (1924), and Hamlet (1925) amongst others.
In 1924, Irakli Gamrekeli illustrated the only published edition of the Futurist magazine H2S04. Between 1925 and 1926, he also painted illustrations for works by Jonah Vakeli, Grigol Robakidze and Simon Chikovani.
The most important works of the artist focused on stage design, though he also worked in film production – most notably Kote Mikaberidze’s My Grandmother (1929), and Mikheil Chiaureli’s Arsena (1927), and Giorgi Saakadze (1942) – as well as the creation of decorations for the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theater.Irakli Gamrekeli formed an innovative tandem with reformist director Sandro Akhmeteli at the Rustaveli Theatre, where he produced stage design for the plays Lamara (1930), The Robbers (1933), and Anzori among others. At various times he collaborated with theaters in Moscow, Kyiv, and Baku.