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Paintings by the Book

Anton Terziev, Sofia

Anton Terziev (b. 1977) graduated 2004 in MA Ceramics from the National Academy of Arts, Sofia. He works with painting and objects, as well as in the field of performance. Part of his activities is associated with various actions in the public space. Part of His interests are also related to writing – he has published 5 books of modern poetry and urban novels.
He has won BAZA Award for Contemporary Art in 2010.

Based in Sofia, Bulgaria, he works with various subjects of the day often with the means of sharp irony. The artist's iconography often displays harsh and critical imagery associated with a specific aestheticization of pain that is a common metaphor of governing power relationships in society, violence in the very political existence of man. A unifying thread in his works appears in the futile attempt of invention of objects and tools for survival in modern life's contradictions and burdens. His interventions in public space as a performing artist and actionist introduce a format that is provocative and foreign for the local scene.

Terziev’s work has been shown at Vienna Contemporary; Nurture Art, Brooklyn, NYC, USA; Donumenta, Regensburg, Germany; On Difference 2, Stuttgart, Germany; Presence of the Body-Troy, NY, Bath, USA; Istanbul, Turkey; Bratislava, Slovakia; Macedonia.

Website: www.antonterziev.com


Anton Terziev
Photo: Galya Yotova

Paintings by the Book
01-12.09.2016, Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia

Have you ever wondered how does a writer paint or how a painter writes? Well Anton Terziev is giving an answer with his project Paintings by the Book (2015). This project is a series that consists of five paintings representing the five book covers of his five published books. Each painting is 208 x 145 cm large. But the project is neither about painting, nor writing, nor about the fusion of both. The idea is even more simple... when you have the means and tools why not do it?

The theme is the value of an art product and also about the “book” and it's “cover”... don't judge a book by its book cover painting. How is it that “quality” and “value” swap their places with ease? And how the method of production of an art work defines it as an “artwork” or as a “product”?

The tremendous exaggeration of the five book covers demonstrates an ironic point of self-promotion. We could find the aggressive outlines in some previous works of the artist (Metacanon, Orthodox Christianity, Act on Instinct). If Paintings by the Book were a bit more appealing they could have caught the eye of an art collector but the whole point of them is not to blend in nor to fulfil the art desires of anyone.

And naturally the idea that a project doesn't end until the artist has run out of ideas on it. Or in other words a project ends only when it can destruct itself.

Daniela Radeava