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 matured creatively his attention was drawn to film. He went on to write over 35 screenplays, including the influential films: “Don’t Grieve”, “Mimino”. And “Kin-Dza-Dza”. Frustrated with the lack of intellectual freedom in the Soviet Union, he turned to puppet heater as an overlooked way to tell his dramatic stories. In 1981 he founded the Gabriadze Theatre, based in Tbilisi. His productions of “Alfred and Violetta”, “The Autumn of My Spring”, “Stalingrad”, and “Ramona” brought the theatre international recognition. 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 writing of Pushkin, Kharms, Bitov, as well as prestigious contemporary writers. His art works are seen in numerous museums and private collections, including; The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, The Dostoyevsky Museum, in Moscow, and Lenbach Hoese Gallery in Munich. His iconic sculptures “Chizhik-Pizik”, and “Major Kovelov’s Nose” in Museum presented its first major one-man show of Gabriadze’s and “Mojor Kovelov’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. He counts among his many international awards “Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the French Republic”.
Recently Rezo Gabriadze personally supervised the renovation and architectural additions to the Gabriadze Theater in the heart of Tbilisi’s historic district. Adorned with the artist’s hand-painted tiles, the building itself has become the work of art. It features a distinctive off-kilter clock tower were, on the hour, a golden winged angel emerges to ring a bell. Rezo Gabriadze can often be found at his table in the theater’s adjoining café, drawing new images for productions yet to come. It is from his base that he continues to lead his groundbreaking theater company as it once again prepares to tour the major cities of the world.
Rezo Gabriadze is a creator of 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.”