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Daniela Kostova, New York

Daniela Kostova (b.1974 in Sofia) is an interdisciplinary artist who holds M.F.A. from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute, NY and the National Art Academy in Sofia. She is interested in comparing and contrasting various cultural models while looking for points of convergence and emerging hybrid forms.

Kostova has exhibited her work at venues such as Queens Museum of Art (NY), Institute for Contemporary Art (Sofia), Kunsthalle Wien (Austria), Antakya Biennale (Turkey), Centre d’art Contemporain (Geneva), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, (Torino) and Kunsthalle Fridericianum (Kassel), among the others. Her work is reviewed in New York Times, Brooklyn Rail, Flash Art International and Art in America.


In 2016 Kostova had a solo show as an A.I.R. Gallery Fellow and was a resident at the Center for Art and Urbanism (ZK/U), Berlin. In 2011, Daniela won the Unlimited Award for Contemporary Bulgarian Art. In 2009, 2007 and 2006 I received travel grants from NYFA, the American Foundation for Bulgaria and the European Cultural Foundation. In 2002 she was an ArtsLink Residency fellow at the Cleveland Institute of Art (Ohio).


In addition, Kostova curated the BioArt Initiative--art & science project of the Arts Department and the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies at RPI. She is also a co-founder of the Bulgarian Collaborative, interdisciplinary collective that includes artists, musicians, literati and architects.


Kostova lives and works in NYC. Currently she is the Director of Curatorial Projects at Radiator Gallery and a Board Member of CEC Artslink exchange program.

Email: danykosto@hotmail.com
Website: www.danielakostova.com


Daniela Kostova
Photo: Eva Davidova

Structura Gallery, Sofia

The installation Loose was presented at Structura Gallery, Sofia as part of the international exhibition Subversive Play, curated by Izabel Galliera. The exhibition considered the concept of play, play objects and playful environments in public and institutional spaces as potent subversive sites. It aimed to problematize normative expectations of play by inviting artists to consider denying public access to their works.


Loose questioned what is safe and what is not in the overprotective U.S. society by comparing American standards of childhood play to those of my Bulgarian upbringing. The starting point for this project was my research on "adventure playgrounds". Once called “junk playgrounds,” they materialized in the aftermath of WWII when London architects realized that kids preferred playing in the bomb ruins instead of at designated conventional play spaces. Currently, these “dangerous” playgrounds are both a privilege of first-world children, and natural play environments for children in warzones. Embodying concepts such as “free play” and the “loose parts theory,” these emerging spaces represent alternate social models that questions power structures and control mechanisms, while unleashing the imagination.


Inspired by this concept I build a “dangerous” playground inside my apartment in New York, where kids could play with ropes, sand, mud and fire. Addressing the numerous regulations of public space in the U.S., I considered the private home setting the only “safe” place for free play. Translating concepts of this project for the gallery space, I created a series of manipulated photo sculptures that are constricted by ropes.
Loose was presented for the first time at A.I.R. Gallery in NYC, 2016.

More info: www.danielakostova.com/portfolio/works/loose