Artist in focus - Misha Shengelia (1959 - 2020) was a Georgian artist. He received no formal art education (he studied geology) but was painting from an early age. Misha Shengelia’s later artistic growth and development were influenced by the atmosphere of free thinking and cross-fertilization of ideas at Rusiko Oat’s New Art Café in the 2000s. Shengelia actively participated in New Art’s life and organized numerous exhibitions and performances. Misha Shengelia’s art works repeatedly depict winter festivals frequently found in Northern Renaissance paintings, gatherings of witches and alchemists, gray cardinals, pacifist generals, mafiosi and dictators, to name but a few. These are frequently stylized images of the characters from famous masterpieces (e.g. The Ugly Duchess by Quentin Matsys, or Federico da Montefeltro by Piero della Francesca). Shengelia’s tragicomic characters are testament to his deep involvement with and artistic response to the social and political events surrounding him. Misha Shengelia’s first solo exhibition at the National Gallery of Georgia covers a 30-year timespan between 1989 and 2019. All works presented at this exhibition are from the private collection of David Mushkudiani. As well as being friends, Shengelia and Mushkudiani shared a like-mindedness. Paintings such as One Day of Mass Media in 1495 and School of the Dictatorship of Proletariat are the result of their collaboration. Misha Shengelia’s works are held in private collections in Georgia, Switzerland, UK, Denmark, Israel, USA, Russia and other countries. Photo copy rights - David Mushkudiani and Guram Tsibakhashvili