Sea Monsters and ... exhibition by Svetozar Benchev

7–30 June 2022
Opening on 7th June (Tuesday), 6:30pm
Academia Gallery, 1 Shipka Street, Sofia
 
There are lots of things half-expressed in this exhibition...
 
The viewer has to finish what the painting suggests, to draw a conclusion or not, to sense the second aspect or not... The viewer's imagination is expected to finish what has been initiated, because there are different directions in which the ending could be developed.
 
These are the innermost questions I have been asking myself over the last few years. Somehow, in parallel with other issues I am concerned with in art, this special line of paintings, not shown so far, has been accumulating. 
 
They are personal, non-commercial; yet, very important to me.
 
If one half of me perceives the world as a place full of love, travellling, humour and beauty, then there is another one that sees some sea and other monsters, powerful waves and sunken ships, and takes interest and immerses in myths.
 
Black and white prevail, and at some places–muted colours, because the modulations in this scale convey, in a concentrated way and without any adornment, the mystery of this immersion into parallel reality and space.
 
Two cycles dominate–imaginary Sea Monsters, generated from old maps with mythical creatures, and the reality in Shot-Down Artifacts.
 
Somewhere between them, individual works that have preserved their own energy unite in groups or act independently. 
 
The ceramic objects in the exhibition are associated with archeological artifacts, remnants of war that are similar to other remnants of wars. Among them, the winner cannot be different...
 
Svetozar Benchev (b. 1962) graduated from the National Academy of Art in 1989 with a degree in Painting. Professor of Painting, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts; works in the field of painting, drawing, ceramics and printmaking; teaches painting in the Painting and Ceramics degree programmes at the National Academy of Art.Works of his are owned by Sofia City Art Gallery, the Art Gallery in Burgas, many private collections in Germany, France and Japan. 
 
Below follows what the art-educated critic Ruzha Marinska wrote about the work of Svetozar Benchev:
 
It is a symptomatic fact for me that fate has connected Svetozar Benchev with Japan, where he has repeatedly exhibited his works and has his own fans. The self-centered creative drive–an unmistakable sign of Western individualistic culture–in the creative work of Svetozar Benchev is obviously calmed and exalted by the whiff of Eastern philosophy and the idea of enlightenment. I think that it is precisely the contact with the East that inspires the artistas he is after all a European–to look for his personal artistic code. Thus, perhaps unintentionally, the artist turns out to be between the West and the East. And his art bears the marks of our time, which no longer accepts imposed regulative regimes and norms, and sets to motion the artist’s authentic worlds born in communication with everything man has created on this earth.
 
 

 

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