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Artist of the Week — Stoyan Leshtevski

June 5, 2012 by · 1 comment

Petya Hinkova interviews painter Stoyan Leshtevski

Photo: Stoyan LESHTEVSKY

Abstract paintings should be listened to in order to hear hidden music in them.

Stoyan Leshtevski is a caricaturist and abstract artist. He graduated from the University of Veliko Tarnovo where he majored in painting. He currently lives and works in Florida, USA.

Stoyan is a member of the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood. He was chosen as one of the hundred best cartoonists of GREAT ROMANIAN PERSONALITIES Caricature Contest in 2008. He received awards for two of his paintings at two different exhibits in Fort Pierce.
He is a part of the Bulgarian artist abroad society.

You are oriented towards the abstract. Is it valued more outside Bulgaria?

I fell in love with abstract art while I was still a student at the University of Veliko Turnovo. I loved it since then.
Certainly, here in America, the homeland of abstract expressionism, this type of art is accepted better than in Bulgaria, but it’s hardly the most sought.

Photo: Tenderness

In galleries, museums and art shows there is rarely any abstract work. EBay and online galleries offer more abstract art.

Where is the place of classical education? The notion that a good representation of the form is a museum art and the facts that it is not obsolete, and will not be, do you think this is true?

Along with the new forms of representation the classical will exist too. There is room for this now and probably in the future.

Photo: Enthusiasm

Photography could not take place of drawing by hand and computers will not be able to either. At one point I was working on poster designs for a major publishing firm.

There were six graphic designers who worked there, but they hired me because I could draw by hand, and they couldn’t.

Photo: Happiness

Do the change of environment and the country influence a person’s point of view and manner, which the painter portrays on the canvas? Did you change your way of painting, after you started working in the United States?

I really like this question. Yes, the change of environment makes a difference, but the artist’s soul remains the same.

As I mentioned, I paint abstract art since I was a student in Bulgaria, but here my point of view became more positive and the colors in my paintings are refreshed.

Photo: Arrival

According to you what determines whether someone will purchase a particular painting – perhaps the philosophy that accompanies it, the mastery in the depiction, any particular style, or simply good luck?

Well, it would’ve been great if I knew the answer to this question. I believe that in order for someone to buy a painting their heart should be somehow touched by it.

Photo: Romance

Networking and developing relationships with people who sell art is also significant.

Is there an American dream?

I’ve never had such a dream. In Bulgaria I lived very well. I didn’t really plan to come to the United States and many times I wanted to go back, but every time something was stopping me.

Photo: Violet Dreams

It was very difficult in the beginning, but later it became better. Now it is still difficult, but that just makes me seek new and undiscovered ways to sell my paintings.

Photo: Beginning

I have noticed that when the American people face difficulties they don’t complain and lose hope, instead they put on a smile and try to be optimistic in order to move forward. I really like that about them.

Do you see more clearly now the situation in Bulgaria in the field of art? Are there growth opportunities for artists in Bulgaria or are they just not seeing these opportunities?

I have always thought that Bulgarian artists are very talented and vital, especially now after comparing them with the “locals” .

Photo: Secret

I put “locals” in quotes because many of the artists here came from somewhere. It is natural for artists to find kindred souls at home and to sell more art there.

The Bulgarian artists don’t sell well in the USA just because of the above mentioned fact but maybe they are more informed about the art market compared to their Bulgarian counterparts.

Photo: Fall Sonata

What is the philosophy behind your paintings?

For me the painting is like a mirror or a window. The mirror in one way or another reflects what is visible, and through the window you see another world- the heart of the artist.

I prefer the last and it’s my aim.

Do you pay attention to what and who is around you while you are drawing or painting?

Photo: Morning

I only pay attention to the song of my spirit, which is reflected in my heart. That is what I want to express, instead of depicting what is visible.

Photo: Spring

How would you like the viewers to perceive your paintings? What would you like them to see?

Many people say that they don’t understand abstract art. Thank God there are people regardless of their education level who feel the paintings.

Photo: Music

They understand them with their soul, and not with their mind. We don’t see and understand music, but that does not prevent us from enjoying it.

I think that instead of trying to understand abstract art, we should try to hear and listen to the hidden music in it

Wish something.

To also do an exhibit in Bulgaria.

Photo: The Cross

Stoyan Leshtevski graduated from the University of Veliko Tarnovo where he majored in painting. He currently lives and works in United States.

About his work he says that his idea is to free the song of his spirit with a quick and spontaneous painting. He believes in the art of true expression. For him, the freedom of expression creates happiness, which is in the pulse of each brush stroke.

The color, the form, and the paint dancing spontaneously throughout the canvas awaken all the senses so we can hear the rhythm of life.

According to Stoyan, the spirit must be the essence of pure abstract art.


I am impressed by the philosophy and point of view of the painter. Each painting is different and has a unique atmosphere. I especially like “Tenderness,” “Music” and “The Cross.”

Jivka Kurteva
I personally know this wonderful man and artist. He is a family friend who first helped us when we came to America 10 years ago. I agree with him that we should not try to understand abstract art, because this is not what’s most important. I personally have four great works of his. These four paintings really speak to me in their own way making me feel happy. I think this is the purpose of art- to feel it. I wish Stoyan much happiness and professional success.


Edited by Lauren Sophie Kearney

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