Interview: Stanislava Stoyanova
Luca Curci talks with Stanislava Stoyanova during ANIMA MUNDI 2019 – RITUALS at Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi.
Graduated from the National High School of Applied Arts St. Luka in 1989 and later from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia, 1998, BFA, MFA. She worked as an Assistant professor in painting at the National Academy of Arts, Sofia (2007 – 2013), and then as an Art Consultant for the galleries Yuzina /2011 – 2014/, Monev /2014 – 2015/ and the Administrative Director of the Contemporary Art Foundation (2014 – 2015). In 2016 she founded the BLUESS Art Studio – an experimental art platform for children and curated exhibitions of their artworks in Bulgaria and Slovakia. Stanislava Stoyanova has participated in joint and independent projects and exhibitions of contemporary visual arts. Her creative path began with a series of exhibitions in Italy: Mentana Gallery, Florence, Museum of Poetry, Arezzo and a number of appearances in Bulgarian galleries: Triadiss, Arosita, Yuzina, Monev, [a] cube contemporary gallery, Sofia. She considers as breakthrough her participations at the Art Fair of Contemporary Art in Hangzhou, China /2014/ and Contemporary Istanbul, Turkey (2014). In 2015 she participated in the Imago Mundi project of the Luciano Benetton Foundation, as an accompanying exhibition at the Venice Biennial 2015 (Venice, Italy). In 2017 and 2018 she had two solo exhibitions: SAVE ME and FACE TO FACE at the [a] cube contemporary gallery, as well as the exhibition TOUCHING COLOURS at the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in London, UK, curated by Diana Draganova-Stier from the National Gallery, Sofia. In 2018 Stanislava’s painting was chosen for the SURFACES exhibition at THE ROOM CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE,curator arch.Luca Curci, an exciting international project during the Architectural Biennale in Venice, Italy; the PARALLAX ART FAIR OF ARTS, London, UK; Join the Dots – Connect the Distances, 2018, an exhibition of the Luciano BENETON Foundation – Imago Mundi, Triest, Italy. Stanislava Stoyanova’s artistic pursuits have further included participation in the International Art Symposiums in Bansko, 2013 and TERRA CULTA, Samokov, 2018.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Stanislava Stoyanova – I believe, Art is a way of being, means of expression, shaping and sharing ideas and values in space and time. I consider it a universal language through which ideas are formed and spread. For me, it is the true way to communicate with the world and people. A way to feel complete and free.
LC – What are you currently working on?
SS – I am currently working on a project related to children and exploring how every human being having been a child then goes through many different stages in life, changing physically and spiritually. I am interested in the influence of external and internal factors on the formation of the child’s vision mainly in painting, placing it in different contexts. What matters to me is the message of the paintings or the project, which is more conceptual rather than seeking aesthetics, as in my abstract works.
LC – Do visitors’ suggestions enrich yourself and your art?
SS – Yes, they really do. It is such a delight to be in dialogue with the viewer. Contact and feedback from the audience is the core and one of the major drives in an artist’s work. More often than not they point to so many new perspectives, ideas, directions and inclinations…
LC- Did your style change over the years? In which way?
SS – Yes, my style has changed as I have been going through different creative and life stages. It has moved from the figurative to the abstract. But I keep inter-relating with the figurative. I also like to experiment with techniques: photo transfer, collage and more. I would say that I have created a colour scheme of my own and building on it the whole is bound to be changing as I continue my artistic search.
LC – Which art themes do you pursue? What is your preferred subject, if there is any?
SS – While working, I embrace and delight in abstraction, it is core of my philosophy of art, thus it is constantly present in my artwork. But I have another point of view towards the figurative related to the abstract to create an extra layer of content. The challenge of intertwining the past and the present is also a great concern for mine. Renaissance paintings and Eastern Orthodox icons are a great source of inspiration for me and they spur up much reflection.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
SS – At the current exhibition I show the painting Annunciazione I.
I was inspired by Sandro Botticelli’s painting, Annunciazione, 1489 – Gallerie degli Uffizi, Firenze, Italia. Fundamental to the painting is the use of a collage of fragments precisely from Botticelli’s painting, on an amalgam of abstract planes, where figures and colors can express the passage of time, past and present, and the position of the accumulations, layers and rituals of the past existing today. I have thought it as a biblical allegory unfolding the connection, the bond between the Angel and Virgin Mary, reflecting the sacred bond between mother and child, the innermost part of womanhood, going further to express my attitude of the place and role of a contemporary woman in the political and economic life today. Analyzing my painting I can read my inward intention to raise the questions about the place of women in today’s society.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? In which way did it inspire you?
SS – The concept of the festival is part of life, philosophical and wise.
I consider it as one of the most inspiring and exciting projects I have participated in. The inspiration comes from the idea of the festival to bring different artists together, but also from the rich atmosphere of the city, steeped in history, culture and art. The city itself is emblematic of contemporary art. Another inspiration comes from the fact that it is held at the same time as the La Biennale di Venezia, one of the world’s most important contemporary art forums, at which artists from around the world meet and the city is exuberant in events and exhibitions.
LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
SS – I attended the ANIMA MUNDI festival and the RITUALS exhibition, immersed myself in the atmosphere of Palazzo Ca Zanardi. I felt involved in a worldwide, global event, La Biennale di Venezia. My artwork has been viewed by many art lovers. I am delighted. Thanks Luca. Thanks Giulia.
LC – What do you think about the organization of our event?
SS – Perfect organisation, excellent team. Very good communication. Instant response. It is my second participation in ITSLIQUID project and I look forward to the next challenge with excitement and curiosity.