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The Journey from USSR to Freedom

I had an honor to visit a private gallery of an amazing painter Abo (Abram Gigauri) last week and I was amazed with the beauty and professionalism shining through his masterpieces.

Such a wonderful impression and interest in his work made me to talk to him and learn about his adventurous story that nowadays for many of us may sound unbelievable.  That’s why I’ve decided to offer this short article and some of his works to our readers.

Nowadays he is pursuing his dreams as a citizen of the United States but it wasn’t like that when he was young. Abo was born in the Soviet Union country (currently Republic of Georgia) and his first paintings in 1970 were inspired by rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar by Andrew Lloyd. He was a young student studding physics in the university and devoting his free time to arts but he was detained by the Soviet Union KGB (Committee for State Security) just because of his painting of crucifix. They had been questioning everything about him: his works, friends, beliefs. It wasn’t a free world like we know it today and just because of your beliefs or even because of listening to modern music one could get a serious trouble from USSR government. It was a very hard period in his life and nothing else needs more freedom than art. His life was full of problems, troubles and pains – that’s when painting has become his biggest friend. No matter what – he would never stop doing the art he loved from the bottom of his heart; even more – only painting could break him free and give a comfort to his soul. He started making friends with professional painters and he was reading, learning more about the art of painting but the colors he was choosing and the way he was painting was coming not from those books but from his soul, from his own pains, happiness, love and life.

The biggest dream he had was to be free – and it was a beautiful dream. All he wanted was to devote his life to the art he loved and live in the free world where no one would judge him or detain him in a police department because of his paintings or love of music, or because of his faith in Jesus Christ. He made his dream true after moving to the United States from the Soviet Union and the way to his freedom was harsh, painful and rough but also wealthy with lessons that gave us priceless gifts which you can see and enjoy down here:

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