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Nikola Manev’s Paintings – Between Reality and Mysticism

December 21, 2008 by · 1 comment

An artist needs the strength to bring out the spiritual light of the world around us.
Nikola Manev

Nikola Manev, a well-known Bulgarian-born artist, recently was granted the title of Academician by BANI (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and Arts). In the past 45 years, he has been living and working in Paris, but remains connected to Bulgaria and his native culture.

Nikola Manev has had over 80 solo exhibits and numerous biennale participations. He has created more than 2,000 painted universes, held in private and public collections in over 30 countries that unite his Bulgarian background with his cosmopolitism in an exceptionally harmonious way.

Nikola Manev has the unique talent to feel at home anywhere in the world. He has taken on the challenge to live in the world’s artistic capital, Paris, which inspires him to show his paintings around the world while always staying connected to Bulgaria as well.

His gallery in Chirpan, a town in Southern Bulgaria, houses his marvelous paintings. Some of them will travel to four Bulgarian cities this year and will be shown, among other places, at the Philipopolis Gallery in Plovdiv and at the Georges Papazov Gallery in Yambol in July. His third show will be in Varna, hosted by the Cavallette Gallery at the end of August, while the fourth one will be in Vidin. “I love crisscrossing Bulgaria”, he says.

In my view, Nikola Manev’s creative character expresses Plato’s concept for divine folly, the inspiration guiding the artist to create his paintings and fill them with unique worlds, always different and surprising, and overpowering. He says he paints 50 or 60 paintings in the course of a month and a half in the winter. There is something out of this world in this unabated impetus to paint, to reach people and communicate, to invade their dreams and enchant them. All this is done at one go, as if it were his last chance, dominated by the necessity to create.

Before my subsequent interview with the artist, I suggest that we let ourselves be drawn by the magic of his unique mystical-realistic works.
“I work intuitively. I take everything from nature, where it is all alive… One of my favorite themes are chimneys’ outlines (among the so-called inanimate objects), yet imagine the many distinct lives behind them. An artist needs the strength to bring out the spiritual light of the world around us.

Translated from Bulgarian by Ellie Ivanova Ponti

Categories: Frontpage · People & Culture · Visual Arts



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