Georgian artist’s painting sells at high-profile Sotheby’s event

Painter Levan Songulashvili with American author and journalist Tom Wolfe at the Take Home a Nude event in New York. Photo by Sotheby’s., 21 Oct 2015 - 19:26, Tbilisi,Georgia

A painting by a young Georgian artist has a new owner after it was sold at a famous New York social event organised by Sotheby’s Auction and the New York Academy of Art.

Levan Songulashvili’s The Jellyfish featured in the Take Home a Nude event on October 15, where it was sold to a New York art collector. The price Songulashvili’s painting sold for was not disclosed however event organisers said $900,000 USD was raised for the New York Academy of Art.

More than 700 guests attended last week’s exhibition. The auction featured 150 art pieces by iconic artists including Will Cotton, Patrick Demarchelier, Yoko Ono and Kiki Smith.

Celebrities from the art scene, Hollywood actors, writers and media personalities were among the exhibition guests.

Levan Songulashvili's painting The Jellyfish (pictured) was sold to this New York art collector at the Sotheby's event. Names have been withheld following Sotheby's protocol. Photo by Sotheby’s.

The Georgian painter was photographed at the New York event alongside well-known personalities including the occasion’s honorary visitor, acclaimed American journalist and writer Tom Wolfe.

Afterwards Songulashvili said the New York occasion was "fantastic and really successful”.

The young painter’s talents were lauded by fellow artist and photographer Adam Wesley, who called Songulashvili "brilliantly insightful, curious, and sensitive” in his review for Art Magazine.

Songulashvili painted The Jellyfish at his Tbilisi home in 2013 at the age of 22. The painting was exhibited at the Sotheby’s hall where works by famous American and European artists including Philip Pearls and Vincent Desiderio were displayed over the years.

Visitors of the Take Home a Nude event in New York view The Jellyfish by Levan Songulashvili. Photo by Sotheby’s.

Songulashvili graduated from the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts in 2013 before he received the Scholarship Award from Georgia's Education and Science Ministry while studying for his Master's degree.

He was also awarded the Academy Scholar Merit Award from the New York Academy of Art, which was founded by the famous 20th Century artist Andy Warhol.

Songulashvili is a beneficiary of the International Education Centre (IEC), which funds the study costs of Georgian citizens at leading international universities. Since the IEC’s establishment in 2014 by the Government of Georgia, the agency has already financed the Masters or Doctorate study of 88 Georgian students at world renowned universities in the United States, Europe and Asia.

In the past Songulashvili’s works were exhibited at several New York venues. He also became the first Georgian to receive the Academy’s prestigious 2015 Portrait Scholarship Award.

Most recently Songulashvili was selected by well-known American artist Jeff Koons to participate in artistic projects at Koons' Manhattan studio.