Born in 1955 in Tbilisi, Georgia, USSR, Elya DeChino was raised in a remarkably artistic household. His mother was a well- known impressionistic landscape painter and her artistic discipline and spirit of experimentation left lasting impressions on DeChino as a young boy. He participated frequently in TV Art programs and published his work in children's magazines, continually meeting with enthusiastic response. After graduating from the prestigious Tbilisi Academy of Art in 1979, Dechino became more prolific and his art more experimental. Profoundly inspired by different styles and schools of thought, he presented his work regularly at All-Union exhibitions.
Despite his strong opposition to Communist ideology and its oppression of free artistic expression, his talent was recognized by the USSR Union of Artists, which at the time was under the strict censorial control of the Communist regime. Although he had originally planned to become a university professor of painting, his own exhibitions were frequent enough to support his studio.
With the advent of Gorbachev's Perestroika, many artists took the opportunity to exhibit their works in Western Europe and beyond. DeChino was one such artist and his work successfully transcended national boundaries, receiving acclaim wherever it was shown. Following the civil wars in the former USSR, he decided to immigrate to the United States, arriving first in New York and eventually establishing residency with his wife and two daughters in Atlanta.
DeChino has been happy to settle in the heart of America's Georgia, where he has planted roots and found powerful inspiration in the complex Southern landscapes and history. He has exhibited his work in Italy, the Ukraine, and across the United States.