Artist 'fixes' global landmarks
Latchezar Boyadjiev blends reality and fantasy to make the world a cosier place
9 February, 2018
Venice Needs a Metro!
Paris Needs a Restart!
Joie de Vivre/ Exuberance, 2017.
The latest flights of Latchezar Boyadjiev's imagination have taken him to putting his mark on emblematic cities around the world and revealing ideas of how to make them cosier. The artist presents a vision of what each city needs most in a blend of the real and imaginary realm. The result is a series of paintings with a feel for refined and positive irony put on show in Plovdiv.
Venice Needs a Metro! (2007-2018), Kassel Needs an Airport! (2007-2018), are the titles of some of the works displayed at the Sariev Contemporary Gallery as part of the Dystopian Cosy exhibition.
The exhibition, which will stay open until 24 March, presents never-before-shown works by Latchezar Boyadjiev created between 2004 and 2018.
Dystopian Cosy is organised in the context of the artist's retrospective at the Sofia City Art Gallery - Latchezar Boyadjiev. Sic Transit Media Mundi (The Present Is Too Short and Quite Limiting), which is set to be opened in the middle of February.
On the exhibition Latchezar Boyadjiev says: “Dystopian Cosy shows visions for the urban environment, and the world by extension, that make it a bit more bearable to live in, it inserts a minimum dose of cosiness where it never existed or has been long gone. My works offer 'fixes' or additions, ideas and guidance of constructive, urban, engineering or mental nature for certain cities I have affection for. They are non-obtrusive and simple ideas that would have radical impact; they are utopic in the sense of being unfeasible but also very much realistic in their sound logic as proposals for social change without sacrifices.”
According to the curator of the exhibition Yara Bubnova, some of the works show the way Boyadjiev is trying to make everyday life easier in cities that have been overused by the international artistic community.
“For a long time Latchezar Boyadjiev focused his work on the idea of renegotiating as a necessary condition and on the human nature in the dynamics of society. Renegotiating is the basis of what we recognise as the Western thinking, culture and society as a whole. From shape, colour and media, to gender, faith, ethics, architecture, science and philosophy - every system in our existence is in a perpetual process of renegotiation. Latchezar Boyadjiev tirelessly explores the ways in which imagination defies limitations and ultimately changes complex social, economic and cultural systems, blurring the line between reality and perception. He blends political, religious, media, lifestyle and pop culture symbols, creating diffusion areas where thoughts, fiction and phantoms are capable of affecting life. His view that the truth has no masters but is rather a matter of opinion makes him a confident champion of the autonomy of art and artistic freedom. It is no coincidence that his identity as an artist was shaped during the height of postmodernism - not its academic and scholastic version, examining the death of various cultural phenomena, but in the time of vibrant, luscious, brave, resilient and sexy visual arts. As a contemporary of artists like Robert Longo, Julian Schnabel, Keith Haring, Cindy Sherman, David Salle, Nan Goldin, Barbara Kruger, Jenny Holzer, Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat and many others in New York in the 1980s, Latchezar Boyadjiev has drawn maximum artistic benefit of coexisting with such talents. His work is polyvalent and palimpsest-like, theoretically informed, playful and ironic, created for the discerning viewer free of hackneyed notions,” says Bubnova.
Another painting offers a solution for Jerusalem - the torn by conflicts city is cloned, and the clones are situated vertically (Jerusalem Needs to Float in the Sky!, 2008-2018). “To solve the problems of the city and its inhabitants, the holy lands should be separated from the regular part of the city, with the holy serving as a layer casting a thick shadow over the earthly,” says the artist.
In another work of the same series, Boyadjiev makes two copies of the Eiffel Tower as a solution to the wave of tourists - Paris Needs a Restart!
“Artists are constantly trying to reimagine the world and the goal is to make it cosier, just as in my collage Joie de Vivre/ Exuberance in which the yellow is like a sun turned into a beach or water, or something else awfully warm and cosy,” says Boyadjiev.
Latchezar Boyadjiev graduated from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia in 1980. His work is focused on interpreting social processes, the interaction between private and public, the urban environment and the modern world inhabiting a place between utopia and dystopia. His preferred medium is installations, photos, drawings, objects, text and video.