Passport Photos

Passport Photos, 1955-65

Shalva Alkhanaidze

Sinopale 4, “Wisdom of Shadow: Art in the Era of Corrupted Information”
Curator: Ana Riaboshenko

It remains unknown whether the author took full-body portraits of these people on purpose or the equipment available at that time did not allow taking ¾ size photos. The most interesting is the end result: portraits revealing social status, sense of style, personality, and character of models, as well as other interesting details about the people and the period between 1955 and 1965. 

Shalva Alkhanaidze, a self-educated photograph (1927-1978), was born in the mountainous Mta-Tusheti (the Dano village) North East region of Georgia. Because of his poor health, Shalva Alkhanaidze had to give up traditional occupation for the region – shepherding – and found a relatively easy job to support his family. Following the advice of his relative, Shalva studied photography in 1955 and set up the first photo studio in the region in his house. In 1955-1976, Shalva created photo portraits of several generations and a unique photo achieve depicting the life of Mta- Tusheti people. Bu t his works remained largely unknown to the general public.