Painting has always been an internal necessity of the soul from an early age for me and one of the ways I express myself.
In the end of the 1980’s I took intensive art classes in the National Academy School of Fine Arts with the National Academy of Design in New York as part of my preparation for applying to an arts high school in New York which would eventually lead me to an art academy. Although I was successful in my candidacy, I had to give up my place in the school as my parents’ mandate of work in New York came to its end the same year and I had to return home with them. Upon my return in Bulgaria, I continued painting alongside my normal schooling and studying painting techniques by myself. The dream to share my work did not cease and it wasn’t until much later after I had already finished my Bachelor’s degree in Economics that I began showing my art regularly in galleries.
My first solo exhibition was in 2000 and was a tribute to my return to the Balkans. Since then, I have not stopped painting and exhibiting all the while holding full time jobs in the area of management consulting, business development and non-financial real estate asset development, to arrive at the present day when recently art has become a full time job for me. I am currently in the phase of enriching my knowledge about how to manage art not only from an idea and production point of view, but also in terms of applying new marketing channels, finding contacts and making entry into and adapting to a completely unknown for me markets in Europe, as well as continuing to look for new media to utilize in my works which has been instrumental in giving me new ways to visually present my ideas.
I can explain the essence of the phases through which I pass as a person who paints as follows:
- Gnossis = collecting knowledge
- Sonessis = processing and understanding the collected information
- Sophia = wisdom, lessons learned, and messages received/ sent
I have been collecting knowledge during each year of my life. This process includes numerous aspects: formal education, travel, observance, reading, discussions with others, thinking, etc…Understanding includes persistent processing of the abundance of information that has been collected, making sense of it and incorporating it into my overall understanding of the world around me and my paintings. In terms of wisdom, I have always been guided by what is most important for me in my artwork – what message I send out to my audience. Naturally, wisdom is attained bit by bit during one’s whole life and is subject to change.
In my artwork during the past more than 20 years, I have been dwelling on various selected topics and events having taken place in the world and which I have encountered in my daily undertakings. I draw my inspiration from my many travels around the world and the people I meet, the places I visit and the experiences I have. I try to capture these through the lens of my camera, as well as enrich their interpretation through the various books and articles I read to educate myself.
I aim to find viable topics around which to build a story. Each project often consists of multiple works, often produced in a range of different media, grouped around a specific theme and meaning. Behind each project, are ideas whose universality unites us, involving different aspects of our lives: social, cultural, religious, ecological and political ones. The paintings include images of words, religions, cities, architecture, roads, flora, ecology, etc. These are all ideas which transcend time and borders.
Some of the topics I have been working on include:
- de personae – portraits of people;
- symbolic cities;
- windows, doors and bridges as a symbol of connectedness and passage of ideas;
- trees and flowers in time – sacred flora and its utilization in human sustenance and healing, as well as its ecological preservation;
- words utilized worldwide whose meaning is shared across different cultures;
- the shared aspects of the people’s lives on the Balkans.
This website represents a kaleidoscope of sorts presenting some of the above mentioned topics.