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About Nikola Gulev
Award for young author of Plovdiv by the Association of Plovdiv Artists
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Nikola Gulev is young but already well known and acclaimed author. He has won numerous awards and his paintings are part of private collections in Bulgaria, Spain, Portugal and United Kingdom.
He is very talented and powerful figurative artist. Gulev boldly uses the brush to create influential, soulful and original works. The author has developed strong social sense, which he invests in his paintings when choosing a creative theme. As a contemporary Georges de Latour, he seeks and flawlessly displays the inner light of the human spirit and soul.
Although Nikola loves to experiment, his style is easily recognizable, having its own specific imagery – fine drawing, pastel tones, tenderness of images, sensuality and aesthetics. The monotony of his favorite colors is diversified by different details, suggesting a certain psychological depth of the painted images. The author manages to create a micro climate in his paintings to keep the viewer’s interest alive. Faces, which we pass by indifferently, say nothing to us, we do not remember anyone. However, when the artist paints those faces on the canvas, suddenly they engage us, we recognize them. We try to unravel something on them, determine states of mind, feelings, experiences and then those faces become memories. Nikola Gulev has masterly created a gallery of characters that will challenge us with their secrets and truths and will awaken our feelings.
I am definitely an artist working in the field of contemporary realistic painting. The human being is the main object in my paintings and the main ambassador of already existing phenomena and connections of reality. My paintings depict real people represented as imaginative images that reveal different aspects of spirituality.
I collect impressions of human interaction in different situations or I am impressed by photographs, and then in the form of intuition or as a result of long reflection, I come to develop my concept, which materializes in a painting.
The impact of the social environment in which we live is undeniable on my painting process. The themes and images I create are characteristic of the time we live in. They carry the spirit of our present and show both its positive and negative aspects.
When a painting is strong and influential, it can always become a sign or turn into a vehicle of values that provoke communication and controversy. The concept of painting that I profess, namely the depiction of social themes and images that show the highest moral values or the degradation of our society, most strongly evokes comment and expression from the visual arts consumers.
After all, the dialogue with the audience is at the heart of the whole process. What's the point of painting if the end product doesn't reach people? People react positively and like my paintings, but many times my art is controversial. However this is exactly the key - when people comment on the paintings, it means that they are touched by the art I create. If the audience's attitude is missing, then the created painting has no charge, no power and is just a handicraft product. This is the meaning of art - to convey feeling, sensation, impulse, longing! This is how the dialogue between author and audience is obtained!
I often experiment. My development is visible - from a classic realism to purely expressive images. In most of my paintings I test different techniques and investigate with diverse themes and plots. My picturesque techniques are constantly changing, but the goal is always the same - to portray my concept as sustainably and convincingly as possible.
The impact of my experimental approach as an artist on the final product is indisputable and in the years led to a strong symbiosis between form and content. Namely this symbiosis is the truth for creating a quality product of visual art. It was this transformation and urge for artistic growth that made me one of the most prominent young authors of Plovdiv.