HARI HARALAMBIEV’S CALL OF VALERIY POSTAROV / STARTS / INCLUDED IN THE BOOK OF “TEMPLE POISIA” / East-West Publishing House, 2017
HH – By what criteria do you define which artists can exhibit in your gallery?
-Don’t forget the schedules too, do we? Because Stoimen Stoilov is initially a schedule and it is of great magnitude. But to date he is also a wonderful painter. The same goes for Joro Lechev, Ivan Stratiev and many others. I am pleased with the artists with a wide range of tools to help them express themselves best when they work. When we look at modern painting, there is no big name that closes only in one genre and technique.
As for the selection criteria of the authors in a gallery, it is easiest to answer – I work with quality artists. But this is an epidermal response and approach. We do not have conceptual galleries due to the fact that still private galleries are a young socio-cultural product, they have been in existence for only 25 years. That’s why everyone shows everything and the criteria, the author is most often imposed and sold. So there are chaos in the industry and there are few galleries that impose their own, face-to-face policy. This year I am thirty years as a professional gallery and maybe I have some reason to share some experience. Strangely, but when I headed the wonderful good gallery in 1988, I immediately turned to artists who were in the “cheshti” column – Lika Yanko, Emil Stoichev, Ivan Vukadinov, Dimitar Kazakov. I already knew that they were not only very good, but that they were strangling from the status quo and confessing and asserting their ideals of art, whatever it is worth. They had bright faces, outside the stamps, and were not excited by vanity in the exhibition halls. Fate donated me with the friendship of most of them. But that did not stop me from looking for younger names and tolerating them. At the end of the 80’s in Dobrich I showed exhibitions with the very young Vlado Chukic, Mitko Lalev, Ivan Stratiev, Stanislav Pamukchiev, Zhoro Lechev. Here, I gradually built my criteria for good art and value writers. When I made a private gallery in 1993, I was already very solid in professional baggage and with a large set of quality artists. But again, I looked for something different and for the first time I showed Lachezar Oshavkov and Andy Lékarsky (great names from Paris), only in Cavallet there were solo exhibitions of Emil Stoychev and Lika Yanko, and every 28th of August we opened an exhibition of Nikola Manev. I am delighted that most writers associate me with a great life friendship. This is the true treasure of the galley.
-Any painting is like a child of the artist. How do you relate to what he created?
-We are all children of the Creator and we carry his spark. But there are “chosen” ones that make us excited and remind us of our spiritual beginning. The other is muddy matter. That’s the point of art! There are artists who say they do not think about it, and do not want to be burdened with philosophical and existential problems, that they are drawing because they breathe. This is already a vocation. Great artists, poets, musicians are ambassadors of God. That’s why we call them Creators without worry. I have always said that the painting has an aura created by the artist’s energy. By falling into it, you experience unexplained but tangible feelings and excitement. Sometimes captivating! I will not forget that when, in 1981, I saw in Dresden for the first time the Raphael’s “Sistine Madonna”, my legs folded and I was on my knees in front of her.
The painting of the late Mitko Lalev “The Holy Family”, which has been hanging for years in our home, does not cease to tarnish me. Despite my professional burden to meet hundreds of paintings, I continue to get excited about the strong works.
-Share what pictorial artist Ambroise Volar said: “How nice work to do with painting. To spend your life among such wonderful things! “
“It’s a strange thing to buy the book” Ambroise Volar, a pictorial artist’s memories “in the distant 1981 when I was 29, and I had no idea that the conscious part of my life would be related to the” galleryist “. There were no private galleries in our country, there was no trade in pictures, and no one thought he might someday. But this book speaks at least about trade. It is an impressive and exciting account of the entire dramatic era of rethinking art in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The epicenter, of course, is Paris and Volar is among the inspirational and furious adherents of a myriad of talented innovators who are today in the pantheon of world geniuses. In his books, he has left us with authentic documents and facts about a glorious age in which the painter takes painfully out of service and becomes an autonomous person with the cost of deprivation and tragedy, sometimes at the cost of his life.
Yes, to live and work, surrounded by art, is happiness. But behind the visible, beautiful side of things there is tremendous labor, professional preparation and dedication. During these “new” years, many galleries have sprung up in Bulgaria. They were especially wealthy people, because of this visible, appealing country – paintings, vernisages, snobbies, cocktails and … lots of sales. “Galleys” became their wives most often. I also know people who did not think about profits – they just needed to buy some indulgences in society. The good and self-respecting artists did not come to the threshold of these galleries. There are exceptions, of course, but strong writers always explore and prefer to work with a professional gallery. Today there are few real private galleries in Bulgaria.
-What would you say to the one who shared with you: “If I had any extra money, this painting would have long been to beautify my home”?
-I have an interesting case in my practice. A woman, professor at the Free University in Varna, adores art. It’s coming years in line at every Cavallet show. He buys a picture I pay to the author, and I make a deferred payment, for example ten months. She is one of the most respected buyers of paintings. It has the senses of good art, but there is no standard to own it. And he spends his monthly salary. This is the tragedy of our time. Otherwise, rich people do not have the extra money. They “harness” them to make more money. Joyful for art finds ways, suffer deprivation but buys. I’ll just give you another example of my galley practice. An intelligent and spirited engineer made an incredible collection of works of many valuable contemporary authors. They can be said to be the top of our time. But he lives in a small panel in Varna, and over his bed there is a grill with paintings that, if it collapses, will put him down and kill him. She drives a car – a baby, or most often she’s on the bus. But he’s crazy about art! This is the enigmatic power of good painting, sculpture, drawing … But it feels the one who has the senses about it. This is a “conversation” at other levels.
“You know not one and two artists. How do you get acquainted with the painting of each of them?
– As I mentioned, fate seems to me an interesting and good solitaire. But to say that my dating with our great artists was accidental, it’s just frivolous. Remember how Volar has long been looking for Cezanne. None of the significant authors go around the galleries to offer. The galleryer makes the effort that gives birth to the contact. But sometimes I’ve also been tactical. Emil Stoychev had been driving part of his barracks in Dobrich and had sentiments to Dobroudja. So in 1989, we staged a spectacular exhibition in the good gallery, and in Sofia and other cities he stood on his head for such appearances. Ivan Vukadinov had an unforgettable episode with Vanya Decheva on the shores of Kaliakra and showed me folders with drawings from that period. Lika Yanko and my wife, poetess Elka Nyagolova, had a strange and unexplainable connection that bordered on the esoteric …. Lika, unfortunately, died on the third day after opening her exhibition in Cavallet … With Georgi Baev, Dimitar Kirov, Encho Pironkov I have no memory of how we started working together – as if everything was arranged by someone. Stoimen Stoilov made his “return” from Vienna in the 90s right in Cavallet. Even today, it connects us with something inexplicable and beautiful, as if in the name of the great art alone. I’m already working on his monograph, which should be released next year. What to say about Nikola Manev? A 35 year old friendship that can not be described in words. I have arranged over 50 exhibitions! Titanic man and artist! In May, our co-book with Ellie came out about this great Bulgarian, and we enjoyed the interest she was welcoming.
-Where is an artist in your gallery, do you know in advance what topics to talk to? Do unexpected things happen?
Some of the artists are silent – Vanko Urumov, Petar Chuklev, Stoyan Tsanev. They are talking more about the middle class, and one needs to be careful with their emotions and tales because they do not have to hurt the silence they are accustomed to. Such was the great poet Hristo Fotev. I remember a visit to him when all night, with noisy and loud friends, we drank silently and waited for him to deny a word. Because these few words were gold! But with most artists we chatter, we laugh, we often sing. When we are in the gallery or in their ateliers, we talk mostly about art, plan or open exhibitions, we often discuss public and political life. Most major artists are sensitive to where our country is going, will we preserve our Motherland, will humanity survive. It has been the case all the time, poets and artists have died on the fronts in the name of causes and ideals, and Modiliani has finally died out when they did not take it to the army in 1915. With Stoimen we are talking live and on the phone long on such topics and I feel that Bulgaria’s fate is ever deeper. With Emil Stoychev we have some of our jokes that we “ozone” even our serious conversations. But when he’s in Paris and we hear, I do not miss a macedonian song. He is very nostalgic. He and George Papazov, after drinking a lot, were singing a sad Bulgarian song. “Rhapsody Vardar” was born when, in a Berlin pub in 1922, Shtarkelov was singing a Bulgarian song and Pancho Vladigerov took off the notebook and started writing notes. Beautiful, talented Bulgarian nostalgists and patriots!
-Ambroaz Volar instructs, “Do not ever try to direct the picture lover to his choice. You have to be careful to tell him the plot. “Do you share such guidance? And at all times, are Volar’s instructions nowadays reasonable?
“More than a hundred years have separated us from the time of Ambrose Volar. Everything is different, art has gone through many equilibriums, and in some of its manifestations it is unrecognizable. But there are still galleries around the world where showcases appear. As early as the 1950s, the conceptual art strategists shouted: “Close the galleries, they are outdated! …” Well, the weather has denied them. In my opinion, mankind will always need the cavalry created by the hand and talent of the artist. What we call ORIGINAL. In this sense, the instructions and postulates of Volar are more than alive. The plastic arts have a universal language and have a liberal limit of accessibility to which the client should be left alone in their choice. Moreover, the money in his pocket is the money he can buy. But if there is a desire for little more information or enlightenment, the galley must be ready to provide it in the most professional way. I have been clients that I have led by hand in the infinite fields of fine art, for which they have not enough knowledge and experience a great deal of respect. I get their literature, I talk to them about the authors, the genres, the techniques. This is the small, but extremely important mission of the galley, as it was during the time of Volar, and will remain forever. Otherwise, I do not like to explain the image. Moreover, we work with modern artists, and an abstract picture would be vitiated by explanations. And when someone asked me, “What does this canvas look like?”, I answer in Hebrew, also with the question, “And what do you see?”. Sneaky or not, the client begins to explain something he sees. And I knock with my hands – “Wonderful!”. People often want to get confirmation of what they see and understand. That’s why the abstract art is so liberal. Otherwise, I have a dozen postal posts for the galley I confess to. One of them is: “Touch the customer with velvet gloves, he is easily wounded!”. But perhaps the most important thing is, “Never give the artist! You stand on his shore. “And not just because I am an artist / graphic designer /, but because the real galley can not be just an insensitive trader.
-Do you say that being a galley means understanding, loving and suffering?
– Interesting question. If we replace a “gallery” with a doctor, teacher, zoologist, archaeologist, etc. we will see that these are universally accepted virtues without which any human profession is unthinkable. Ambrose Volar, under whose sign
“I love my poorest artist more than my richest clients.” The most important thing – he suffered with them, “bandaged” their wounds, put paint and bread on their table. He gave them hope to continue. He supported their spirit, he loved the spirituality of Europe. These were years of total American invasion and the ships were carrying huge amounts of paintings and sculptures across the ocean. In 1994, I was a short specialization at the Annapolis (USA) Gallery of European Art. They had a large number of paintings by Pizarro, Susa, and Sianyak. But Americans see the work as an object of good money. They have no spiritual senses and their life is subordinated to rationality. When a wealthy American, a client of Volar, invites him to see how he bought an ancient castle, numbered the stones and ornaments and carried it to America to build it again, he asks her – “And the spirit of the castle with what will you carry? “. In this sense, I would add to all the listed virtues that the galleryist should be unreservedly dedicated to the cause of a more spiritual world. Battle is not from yesterday and today. It is old and eternal. In the distant 1669, the genius Rembrandt dies. Ventuslaven, alive and overwhelmed by wealth, eventually he died ruined and forgotten. His own guild separates him / the talent is hard to forgive / and does not even cross two art brushes at his grave to know where he is in the yard of the Westerkerk church. Today, all of Earth has embraced the maternal bones of genius, and its creativity is the greatest spiritual temple in human civilization!