Ivan Garikow was born in Belaya Glina, a small town within the Russian Empire, in 1918. He spent the better portion of his addled twentieth-century life making paintings. Though Garikow's career spanned from his early teens in Russia to the end of his life in 1982 in Philadelphia, PA, his style always remained distinctly, traditionally Russian.
Teachers noticed Garikow's artistic talent during his early school years, and was sent to painters school. When he was 18 years old Garikow submitted his work to Repin Academy and was accepted. He received his classical training at Repin Academy from 1937-44. Not long after he completed his classical art training at Repin Academy, Hitler's army invaded Russia and the siege of Leningrad began.
Garikow joined the Soviet army, but soon he was captured and taken as a prisoner of war by the Nazis. He was moved to a slave labor camp where he would remain a prisoner for the next four years.
In 1945, United States troops rescued Garikow from the Nazis, and placed POW's in Austria for their own safety. It was in Salzburg, Austria that Garikow gained recognition as one of the town's most popular artists. The post war years were good to Garikow during the late 1940s.
Convinced he was destined to become famous, Garikow emigrated to the United States in 1951.
On August 21, 1951, Ivan Garikow sailed to the United States from the German port of Bremenhaven. He arrived on September 10, 1951 and stepped on American soil at Ellis Island.
On Tuesday, September 18, 1951, he left NYC and arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the same day. Philadelphia was to become Garikow's home for the rest of his natural life.
As Repin was steeped in the past and adhered to what he knew, years later Ivan Garikow remained more closely aligned with older styles like that of Repin than the emergence of Modernism and Contemporary art during his own lifetime which he spent in Russia, Austria, and the United States.