Gergana Nikolova

Born in: 1991, Bulgaria
Lives in: Sofia, Bulgaria
Education: 2014 – Bachelor of Fine Arts from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria - 2016 – Master of Fine Arts from the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria - From 2022 I started a PhD in the National Academy of Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria - Member of the Union of Bulgarian Artist since 2018
Describe your art in 3 words: changing, emotional, mysterious
See More Work:

Liquid Soul I - Acrylic on canvas 100 x 81 cm €2,500

"My art is driven by emotions. I like to extract philosophical ideas from books and seek to transfer emotions from music. I also play the piano and naturally, music in general is very important to me. I find these two branches of art – painting and music – very similar. I like to change my painting style drastically – I don’t like to repeat myself, that’s why change is very important to me."

What themes does your current work involve?
In my current work I’m studying and experimenting with water reflections. I’m very fascinated by the strange forms, that the water is forming. The water reflections look very distorted and abstract, and therefore provoke my imagination to see figures in them. The salt pans near Burgas impressed me with their pink and orange water and this is what I wanted to express in the painting "Liquid Soul I". The technique that I’m using is greatly influenced by the classical examples – I’m following exact stages and I’m working with multiple layers. I work with acrylic paint and I combine it with structure past, vanish or pigments, in order to achieve different effects.
Describe your creative process.
When I get an idea, I start to think how to express it visually. Important step for me is to choose music that resonates with the feeling of the painting in order to maintain and provoke the creative process. When I start new painting, I try to enliven and enrich it with emotions. After a while, the different elements start to develop their own logic and in its own way, the painting is showing me how to continue. I don’t think that the artwork has a particular ending. For me it is just that at some point I don’t see any more how to continue and the emotional connection between me and the painting is gone. At that moment I know that I need to stop, because after this point everything that I try to do looks wrong. After I “leave” a painting I don’t work on it anymore for exactly that reason.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
There are many things that influence my work – experiences, books, movies or music. I am also inspired by other artist – painters and musicians. I have always been impressed by the human psyche and emotions. When I make a portrait, I like to immerse myself in the psychology of the person and express it in the painting. The face is a mirror of the personality and the eyes are gates to the soul. In my opinion, to make art one must have an inner urge to create and to overcome obstacles along the way. I feel this urge inside me and it provokes me to continue.
What are your goals and plans as an artist in 2023?
One of my goals for 2023 is to focus on my PhD thesis. I'm writing about the abstract geometry of Georgi Yanakiev - one bulgarian artist from Burgas, who was most active in the 70s and 80s of the 20th century. Another goal, of course, is to paint as much as possible. I don’t have any upcoming exhibitions for now, but I'm looking foward to have some.
How do recent advancements in technology affect your art practice? How may recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (image generator software) affect the definition of fine art?
The recent advancement in technology doesn’t really affect my art practice yet. I think the AI developments affect more the digital artist. In the digital art world, it will be more difficult to tell at first glance which artwork is made by an artist and which by the AI. The fine arts, for example the physical paintings, will most likely become more valuable.
What is the role of the artist today?
I think that the artist in general is like a generator that absorbs ideas from the surrounding world and transform them into his art. Like a mediator among the people, that subconsciously catches ideas and bring them into life. The role of the artist today hasn’t changed so much, in my opinion – I think he still is respected in the society.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
In my opinion, art is good when it expresses a deep truth and emotion. No matter the style, the viewer should be able to feel this from the artwork. A great piece of art is that which stands the test of time and speaks to the viewer through the ages.


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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