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Artist of the Week – Grigor Malinov

May 14, 2012 by · 1 comment

An Interview with Painter Grigor Malinov by Petia Hinkova

Edited by: Lauren Sophie Kearney

Grigor Malinov: It is very important to save and keep the invisible flame inside you




What does painting mean to you? Have you ever tried to live without painting?


I once read something, but I cannot remember well enough if it was about the fine arts or just art in general. I realized and adopted the following idea: when you start something, you do it with desire and enthusiasm.


Later on, you may transform that into knowledge and become fluent and even make it your profession, but to create real art is beyond this point. It is not just the emotions, success, or acknowledgments that push you forward.


Somewhere, there sits the question; what do the fine arts mean to you? Part of your life, a point you would like to reach, something you would like to share with others, or the magic pill that keeps you alive.




When I moved to the U.S.A., I had to change my everyday artist’s life and start working as a construction worker in order to support my family. It was quite a few years! I was unable to paint and that brought me to an emotional crisis, and put me down physically.


I was unable to walk, (I was on crutches for a year and a half). Then I began to paint once again. Thanks to my wife, who took care of me, I made it through that episode. I did not understand if it was the “smell of paint” or something else that helped me there, but for sure it was one of those things that brought me back to life.




What are the main points and conceptions that formed your style?


Ten years all together in a fine arts high school and university leave unforgettable experiences in a young person’s life.


I guess that the works of the greatest renaissance artists then and now influence my style. The way of creating classical art digs deep under the skin and for good or bad, it reflects over my paintings.


I believe that not following the way of old masters is what pulls me, but how to create a painting that is positive and full of life and spirit. I would say that this is the main structure which supports the art that I create.




You have lived in The States for twelve years. What does an artist find out about his own work that he can only understand abroad?


Now I live and work in California and more specifically in the Bay Area, which is a gathering place for people from all over the world. There are so many different traditions, experiences, religions, art, technologies, and mentalities.


I will not forget when I first tried to work with local art galleries. It is a completely different world; everything is so strange, so non-Bulgarian. In contrast, it is amazing and breathtaking. The feeling that you compare and compete with artists from all over is strange in many ways. It definitely takes time before you feel comfortable in your own shoes.




Is there a recipe on how to make a successful painting that grabs the attention of the public?


I am aware that a successful painting is difficult to create every day. I do have a simple recipe; one needs to spend years in front of the easel before hoping for a successful painting. To win, or to carry away the audience is a great feeling that keeps the spirit high and stimulates the artist. Is it what you are looking for in your art; is this the mountain peak that you are climbing on?




 What is the price that you have paid for your desire to make fine art?


I love the Bulgarian word “jivopis” for painting with colors, making colors alive, creating art through colors. One word explains everything. I do not believe that I am paying a price for the ability to paint.


I think that it is a gift from God and the Spirit is in the artist, so one can create. The artists definitely follow a different path than most people, but you have to accept this and nurture it.




 What motivates you to continue to be an artist?


 It is definitely a challenge to be an artist. As a young artist, a couple of friends and I was painting a mural in a big factory hall, when an experienced artist who was working there stopped by and said a comment: “kids, everything is already discovered and painted, so there is no way to make an exceptional painting. Don’t push yourselves too much.”


Obviously he was wrong. Not everything was discovered and painted, so this is a very good stimulation for everyone who wants to be called an artist.




 Is there any room for a Bulgarian artist under the American sun? Are they waiting for us or is it an everyday battle?


 A person moves from one city in Bulgaria to another and still everything is foreign and unknown. Everybody is a little skeptical, but what if you decide to go to the other side of the world?


Otherwise the sun shines for all that are born in this world. If I borrow the word “battle”, I can compare it with the historical Battle for Moscow from World War II.


If you do not use all of your potential, you will definitely lose the “battle” in the U.S. Let us not be that much into the military style.


The local land is great for everybody and everything related with art. Some of the most famous museums, art galleries, and artists are here; you just need to suit yourself.




 What is necessary to exist so that an artist can continue working? – Calmness? … Obligations? Acknowledgments? The desire to survive? Stubbornness?


Each one of those things is important and necessary. Calmness, you need mostly inside. Obligations keep you in shape. Acknowledgments are great stimulants but they are like a two sided blade.


You must be very careful when the appreciations come. From my short experience, I could say it is very important to save and keep that invisible flame inside you that makes you see and think as an artist – the spirit of creativity and real art.




What do you strive for?


 I strive for harmony within me and in my family. I hope to be a better father and husband. As an artist, I hope to make better paintings, to be able to surprise myself with new ideas and decisions in front of the easel.




Grigor Malinov lives and works in California, USA. In his art he combines the classical and modern principles and methods of Oil Painting. He thinks that all of the techniques (the more, the better) are a path toward creating a good art. He doesn’t look for another way of expression, than the stretched white canvas. The work on canvas is boundless field for the artist. In this way he could be called conservative, but working in his own way on the canvas, he considers himelf as an innovator and a discoverer.


He strives to be capable of working in a variety of different techniques, and to make his paintings contain both surface statement and deeper complexity. He leaves to viewers to choose the level at which to read artwork.

The subjects of his artworks are: Still life, Landscape, Portrait, Composition.


The goal of his art is to bring more harmony and beauty in our busy lives. When a person is in touch with his artworks, he would like him/her to have a wonderful, unforgettable experience, calming and relaxing feelings, a sensation of living in a fairy tale, an impression of peace and tranquility. He would like people via his art to sense the charm of the world, to taste the fascination and the enchantment of the surrounding, and if the global goal of the human beings is to make the world a better place to live, his art is his personal way to achieve that.

Grigor Malinov`s website –


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