Zurab Tsereteli - Charlie Chaplin in Tbilisi
There were two popular spectacles in the last century in Tbilisi - the circus and cinema. Films with Charlie Chaplin were especially popular. This magical world fascinated the impressionable boy Zurab Tsereteli. Zurab, along with his grandmother, watched circus performances and films, worried and laughed at the adventures of the hero with a cane. Later, the image of Charlie Chaplin’s “Little Tramp” persona inspired him to create a series of works in which real scenes from the cinema and the artist’s fiction are mixed, putting his hero into situations invented by the artist himself. The world of the circus and Chaplin on the canvases of Tsereteli is logical and unreal at the same time. The feeling of a dream, of different reality that hides some incomprehensible mystery is what attracts the master.
He plunged Charlie into the atmosphere of old Tiflis, where this character immediately became part of the town, as if he were born and raised here... Here, Charlie’s hero is seen together with a street shoeshine man or on another canvas, with his bosom friend Kinto. Charlie Chaplin’s persona and one of the most colorful characters of Tiflis - Kinto have a lot in common: cheerfulness, penchant for petty deception, restlessness.... Charlie himself on the canvases of Zurab Tsereteli partly resembles Georgians by his facial and body expressions...
Despite the melancholic tonality of some of Zurab Tsereteli’s works depicting the “Little Tramp”, the paintings are pervaded with the master's principal message - good always triumphs over evil, and love is the main value of life.