Two artists in one gallery
17 June, 2017
What prompts two artists to team up in one gallery? In the case of sculptor Ivan Totev and artist Nikolay Buzov it is unquestionably their long-time true friendship, the pleasure of interacting and a shared view of art and the creative process. According to Assoc. Prof. Rumen Zhekov, their current joint exhibition at the U P.A.R.K. Gallery in Plovdiv is a clash of ideas and concepts about the world and art, a back-and-forth between the lyrical and the geometrical abstraction of painting and the neo-figural aspect of sculpture.
Art fans are very familiar with Nikolay Buzov and Ivan Totev thanks to their numerous shows in Bulgaria and abroad. They have earned a host of accolades and awards over their prolific careers. Their current project presents works created in the past three-four years, a testament to the consistency in their artistic explorations and intentions. Both like what they create and staunchly refuse to make artefacts solely to please the mass audience.
Nikolay Buzov works in a wide range of genres - drawing, painting, photography, installations and fashion. An apt description for him would be a “lyrical abstractionist and an art informel”. “Informel because of the Celestial Sphere cycle in the exhibition. These paintings seem to defy matter; the colours and space have been transformed into antimatter thanks to the uninhibited brushstrokes. It is remarkable,” says Assoc. Prof. Rumen Zhekov.
Ivan Totev is on the other side of the spectrum and not because he works with other materials and three-dimensional art but because he single-mindedly upholds the ideas of neo-figurative art. According to Zhekov, he has turned moulding sculptures into a climb up the endless ladder of perfection. He manipulates the form from the inside out. “Observing his sculptures, I sense the form powerfully stretching its dimensions as if trying to break free of the plane surfaces and the edges. It makes me realise why those frozen megaliths are reminiscent of the Cycladic and Egyptian sculptures, transporting us to the illusory eternity. His works are characterised by exquisiteness achieved through impeccable moulding and gentle planes that invite the touch,” explains Zhekov.