Drawing metamorphoses of life and existence

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Drawing metamorphoses of life and existence


rsz portrait


Interview with the figurative artist Doncho Donchev who lives in Sophia.

By Camilla Delpero


What is contemporary art about Doncho?

Contemporary art is hard to be defined, and in fact, it shouldn't be defined. The enclosure provided by definitions and frames is actually a limitation for us. Art is not an amibition, it is not an act of showmanship, not everyone needs it. It is sensuality and honest expression. To me, art is freedom.


10.Metamorphoses A 20x30cm



What is your art about? What is the message you want to communicate?

I have a seeker's heart. I don't like monotony and the tedious repetition of the so-called 'personal style'. Courage and artistic change are very important to me. This is what gives me a sense of freshness. I don't want to be a whole-life slave to just one successful style. That would have a disastrous effect on me. I am trying to keep in touch with the dynamic nature of our times. That's why there is such diversification in my work. I draw before audiences, work with a variety of materials, make illustrations, paintings, sculptures; I am generally open to the challenges that surround us. Some of my projects follow a specific theme and are inspired by science – such as 'Particle Metamorphoses' and 'Timeline of the Universe', exhibited in CERN in 2016 and 2018. Others are born of the wealth and wisdom of the ancient classical thought - such a project is 'Mythology', which was exhibited in Liechtenstein National Museum in 2015. In 2017, I created the satirical project '21st Century' to show the contrasts of our times. It shows some of the most prominent politicians worldwide drawn in the form of playing cards. Drawing live before an audience is an incredible source of energy to me, it provides me with a very special feeling. I do this at various stages and forums - such as EXPO Milano and EXPO Astana, in cathedrals in Germany, at jazz festivals in Europe. This is all me, and I think that when the artist has an open attitude, his appeals can be felt by the other party.

The magazine is called "Quid Magazine". Quid etc.... Where do you see the quid in your art or in life?

I can hardly make analysis myself of my works and my life, but when you have an open heart, that makes you different and unique. I want to work on my development all the time. Perfection is unatainable; the road that leads there, however, is one aspect of our humane character.


rsz madonna


What about the beauty? Does it exist?

Of course! Beauty and ugliness exist and neither of them can thrive without the other. These are the opposites of our existence. Just like light and darkness, good and evil, truth and lies. Beauty is everywhere, even in the smallest of things. One must be awake to feel it and to have their senses open for it. 

How was your project born?

The 'Codex Metamorphoses' Project is devoted to Leonardo da Vinci. This is a long series of mine, I have been working on it for years. These are Ovid's metamorphoses, and Kafka's metamorphoses, too. Leonardo da Vinci is like a bridge between antiquity and future. His drawings, codes and works have been transformed in our times. The main painting - 'Madonna' (an interpretation of one of his drawings) - I created completely on patterns from fashion magazines. I also present natural sketches of different animals, looking like pages from an old book, and their mirror-image created from constructive forms. LDV Art Gallery is the right place for my project. The Director of the gallery, Arminio Sciolli, invited me and provided me with an opportunity to make a performance in his Villa Sciolli, where I created Leonardo's face. On 2nd May, in Locarno Gallery, I also drew 'live' before an audience. I reproduced one of the most interesting and mysterious paintings - 'Salvator Mundi'. Besides being the most expensive painting, it is also very controversial. There are various opinions as to its origin and whether it is an actual work of da Vinci. All the versions made me create a provocation. I turned the image from both sides, thus creating a playing card.


 11.Metamorphoses A I 20x30cm